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Volunteer Profile: Rosemary Jorden, Angela Little Spirit of Giving Award Recipient

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Angela Little Spirit of Giving Award – Rosemary Jorden: This award, named after the Foundation’s former Director of Operations, is given to a volunteer who exhibits selfless devotion to the Foundation’s mission of education and support. As a preeclampsia survivor and often working quietly in the background, Rosemary has created eight separate Preeclampsia Memorial and Survivor Quilts to honor the experience of survivors from across the globe. She is an active member of the Foundation’s Patient Support Network, providing grief support to families who have experienced infant or maternal loss. (Pictured here, second from left)

What was your experience with preeclampsia?

rosemaryTen years ago, I developed Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome at 20 weeks into my pregnancy.  Immediately upon my diagnosis, I was flown to a major hospital. Just 12 hours later, I delivered and lost my son, Elliott.  

Why do you feel the Foundation's mission of patient support and education is so important? 

When Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome hit me, I spent a week in the hospital not really having a clue of what had happened to me, and why.  Upon my return to home, I Googled the word “Preeclampsia” and immediately came across the Foundation’s website.  On the site, I found answers to my medical questions and more importantly, I found grief support at a time that I needed it most. The website gave me avenues to talk with others who truly understood my feelings.   Preeclampsia leaves many women with feelings of failure, survivor’s guilt, PTSD, the list goes on.   The wonderful ladies who moderated the website’s forum gave me hope and a real sense that I would find my way through the worst of days.  Even more today, the Foundation provides education and an amazing support system to those who are in need.  

What does it mean to you to be awarded the 2014 Spirit of Giving Award? 

I am incredibly humbled and honored to receive this award.  I feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization.  I am grateful for the opportunities the Foundation has provided for me to pay it forward.  

What has been your most gratifying moment as a Foundation volunteer?  I don’t know that I can single out a specific moment.  Having the opportunity to meet some of the foundation members, my “PE Sisters” as we are affectionately known, has been really wonderful.  Being able to share our experiences and knowing that we are making a difference in someone else’s life, is incredibly rewarding and healing.  

What are your continuing goals for your work with the Foundation in the near future?

quiltI’d love to continue the tradition of the Promise Walk Quilts.  Through the years, the quilts have been a healing outlet for so many.  Each square of fabric represents a life lost or a life touched by preeclampsia. The quilts travel and are displayed at many of the Promise Walk locations. It’s important for those who contributed a square to see the finished quilt. Many have expressed how therapeutic it is to create a square, and see their square become part of a large quilt. The quilts join pieces of fabric, but they also joins lives and tells so many stories. Each quilt has been created by many, many hands with much love and care. I believe that the quilts make an indelible impression on those who see and touch them.

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