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What an amazing whirlwind of a weekend we had in New York City! You'll hear more from our Saving Grace co-chair Patrick Dignan in next month's newsletter, but for now let me just say "Wow! New York really rolled out the red carpet for the Preeclampsia Foundation." Here are a few headlines from the events of Saturday, November 12.
During the day we were honored to co-host a post-graduate course at Weill Cornell Medical College with experts from Yale, Harvard, NYU, University of Washington, Columbia and Cornell, along with always stimulating Dr. Baha Sibai, plus yours truly delivering a session on patient-provider communications. Over 70 attendees comprising physicians, nurses, midwives, residents, other researchers and a few preeclampsia survivors learned, debated and discussed some of the latest information about hypertension in pregnancy. Huge thanks to our friends at Cornell, all the presenters, as well as March of Dimes who provided underwriting support. It was especially compelling as I, and other Foundation volunteers and staff, met recent preeclampsia survivors struggling with losses and seemingly hopeless situations. These encounters always serve to rededicate us to our mission, but I hope in some small measure we were able to help them through their suffering.
During our annual benefit gala, we announced the launch of a grassroots initiative -- a petition drive to secure over 2,500 electronic signatures before the end of the year, asking for May to be declared "National Preeclampsia Awareness Month." Smart phones were whipped out and the drive was on! As I write this, we already have 780 signatures. We need your help to secure the remaining 1,720 signatures in the next six weeks. Please sign on and forward this petition to everybody you know. As I said Saturday night, this is one of the few messages that needs to be sent to Congress and the President that doesn't cost tax payers a cent. Let's ensure the nation hears us now!
The evening was not without tears as the emotional depth of the cause was brought to life via sight, sound, stories and music, but there was also laughter as a new text-giving campaign was introduced that allowed donations and text messages to be projected on the screen. A few creative attendees used the public broadcast of their message to bring hilarity and good-natured ribbing to the evening.
If I start thanking everybody who deserves our abundant thanks, we'll be even later than we already are getting Expectations out this month. Look for photos from the gala and a longer article next month.