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Saving Grace – A Night of Hope was held November 6, 2010, in Seattle and was a huge success for the Preeclampsia Foundation. In addition to the tremendous funds raised, it was an amazing night of connecting and sharing for many of the Preeclampsia survivors and their families in attendance.
The annual event provided a platform to remember those we have lost, share common stories of pain and struggle, and celebrate the recovery so many have made it through. The night began with a slide show of many of the Foundation’s members, a wonderful tribute to some very strong women and families.
The 2010 Vision Grant and Hope Award winners were announced by Dr. Tom Easterling who gave an emotional speech about the importance of continued research and finding cures and predictors for Preeclampsia. Dr. Jose Belizan, who was awarded the Hope Award by Dr. Marshall Lindheimer, spoke about the importance of creating awareness in other countries and the lack of resources in many foreign areas. He is hopeful there will be a continued relationship with the Preeclampsia Foundation and the United States.
Dr. Belizan expressed his wish to continue collaboration with the Foundation, commenting, “The Saving Grace event was one of the most gratifying events that I have been to in my life. I am very pleased to learn about the current decision to expand the mission of the Foundation towards global health. There is a strong need of support in developing countries and preeclampsia has a great impact on women and infant mortality and morbidity.”
The feature presentation of the night was the premiere of the short film about the global impact of preeclampsia, The Silence is Deafening, produced by Lisa Russell, scored by Carter Armstrong, and underwritten by Jhpiego and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The film features stories from women around the world, all from very different places and economic backgrounds, but with eerily similar stories of symptoms and outcomes from preeclampsia. It had a definite impact on the audience who went on to pledge $28,000 toward the Foundation's new international initiative in partnership with the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy. "Partners for Progress in Women's Healthcare" will focus on overcoming core challenges in specific communities in low- and middle-income countries. The goal at Saving Grace was to raise $20,000 to fund the Foundation’s portion of the collaborative program to enable a two-year commitment to the first partner site which will be a low resource setting outside of the United States. With the goal exceeded, the Foundation is well-positioned to continue its international work.
Saving Grace Co-Chairs Autumn Spear and Bonnie Rosenbloom were thrilled with the night’s outcome and the opportunity to host the event in Seattle.
Autumn said, “I had expected Saving Grace to be a night I was proud to put together and honored to chair, but never expected the greatest gift I received which was finding peace with the loss of our daughter, Sydney, through bringing this night together. To meet so many wonderful women and be able to share our experiences was both healing and empowering.”
Bonnie echoed Autumn’s sentiment, commenting, “I am so honored to have been the co-chair for Saving Grace and feel so lucky to be able to help with this fantastic organization. The days leading up to the event and the event itself were also very cathartic for me.”
The location of Saving Grace 2011 was also announced. New York City will be the host city of the annual event which will be held on November 12, 2011. Next year’s event will be a combined effort focusing on preeclampsia cases involving blood donations. The Foundation for America’s Blood Centers will co-host the event along with the Preeclampsia Foundation.
View photos of all the 2010 festivities. If you see one you like, you can even purchase a copy and proceeds will benefit the Foundation.