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The Preeclampsia Foundation today announced its co-founder Anne Garrett Addison is one of 13 finalists for the L’Oreal 2007 Women of Worth Award. Anne was chosen from a pool of 1800 nominees nationwide. In recognition of her award, the Preeclampsia Foundation will receive a $2,500 grant and L’Oreal will give a matching award in her name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
As a leading cause of maternal illness and death, preeclampsia affects as many as 1 in 12 pregnancies, or more than 6 million births annually. Preeclampsia is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and can be deadly to mother and baby. If untreated, preeclampsia can escalate to eclampsia, causing seizures. Worldwide, nearly two hundred women every day – more than 60,000 women a year – die from eclampsia alone, and preeclampsia is the leading known cause of prematurity.
Ms. Addison co-founded the Preeclampsia Foundation in 2000 after her near-death experience due to preeclampsia in 1996 and subsequent complicated delivery in 1999. Three of her four pregnancies were complicated by preeclampsia and she has four healthy sons. Her co-founders include her obstetrician, Dr. Thomas R. Easterling, from the University of Washington, fellow preeclampsia survivor, Joan Lambert, and her then husband Anil Singh-Molares.
“We started this organization because there was nothing out there for us. It was literally called a rare and orphaned disease, yet with 200,000 American women struggling with its impact every year, it’s hardly what you’d call rare,” said Ms. Addison.
During her time at the Preeclampsia Foundation she was appointed a member of the National Institute of Health’s Hypertension in Pregnancy Task Force, helped advocate for the U.S. Senate Healthy Moms Act, was featured in a cover story in Glamour magazine (3/02), helped organize the first International Preeclampsia Summit funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and provided tangible support to countless families and particularly mothers over the internet, on the phone and in person.
“She’s tireless,” says co-founder Dr. Easterling, “and she doesn’t give up.”
J. Thomas Viall, Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation added, “Preeclampsia has been known to medical science for more than 2000 years, but it was Anne Garrett Addison who had the vision to collaborate with others to establish the Preeclampsia Foundation; women and families the world over have benefitted as a result.
I am pleased that Anne's early contributions are being recognized by the L'Oreal ‘Women of Worth’ initiative.” He continued, “The Foundation is like one of Anne’s children that has spread its wings and now flourishes.”