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APRIL 30, 2010 - May is National Preeclampsia Awareness Month and will be recognized throughout the United States with The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, proclamations, and special events. Governors from Georgia and Iowa, and the Mayors of Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego, and Irvine, Calif., have issued proclamations recognizing the serious crisis that lack of preeclampsia awareness creates. Several communication opportunities with the March of Dimes and other organizations will open the door for new audiences to learn about preeclampsia.
Twenty-two Promise Walks are being held across the country with related activities such as guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, free blood pressure screenings, silent auctions, raffles, and memorial events. You can register to walk, make a donation or learn more about any one of these walks at www.promisewalk.org.
One of the new Promise Walks this year is in Chicago, Illinois, where the historic Lying-In Hospital on the University of Chicago campus boasts four plaques commemorating pioneers in understanding the major diseases of pregnancy. Almost 100 years ago, one plaque was set aside to honor the individual who discovers the cause or cure of preeclampsia. It is still blank. Guest speaker Dr. Anita Blanchard will describe the significance of this Promise Walkâ€™s location, before walkers stride through Hyde Park to raise awareness and funding for preeclampsia research.
Across the country, Promise Walks are taking place in:
San Diego, Calif.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
Las Vegas, Nev.
North Conway, N.H.
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
People interested in supporting Preeclampsia Awareness Month may either join a walk near them or make a donation to this signature fundraising event for the Preeclampsia Foundation at www.promisewalk.org. Beckman Coulter Foundation is the national sponsor.
Other awareness-building activities for the month of May include:
May 3 from 1â€“2 p.m. (EDT) â€“ Executive Director Eleni Tsigas will be a guest on VoiceAmerica talk radio internet show, A Labor of Love. Listeners will be able to call in to share their own thoughts and experiences during the live program by dialing 866-472-5792. They can tune in to the program on their computer at http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=45950.
May 11 from 3â€“4 p.m. (EDT) â€“ The Preeclampsia Foundation will be a special featured guest on the March of Dimesâ€™ Twitter-based â€œPregnancy Chatâ€ an hour-long discussion about preeclampsia. To participate, register on Twitter and search for #pregnancychat during the event to participate.
May 11 - Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition will feature the Preeclampsia Foundationâ€™s role as an outreach partner in the Text4baby program in their e-newsletter. In this free service, messages about preeclampsia warning signs are included in the mobile phone text messages sent to the 31,000 participants enrolled thus far.
Week of May 17 - NewsMomsNeed, the March of Dimes official blog will feature a member of the Preeclampsia Foundation as a guest blogger, highlighting the unique challenges faced by preeclampsia survivors in planning for future pregnancies.
Mid May - The March of Dimes will spotlight the Preeclampsia Foundation as a valued â€œalliance memberâ€ in their ongoing prematurity campaign.
Preeclampsia is a serious - and rather common - complication of pregnancy, dangerous to both the mother and her unborn baby. It is characterized by high blood pressure and protein spilling into the urine. Other signs and symptoms may include swelling, headaches, and visual disturbances. Knowing the warning signs may lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes.
About the Preeclampsia Foundation
The Preeclampsia Foundation's mission is to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices. We envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, call toll free (800) 665-9341 or visit www.preeclampsia.org.