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Volunteer Profile: Sarah Hughes, 2014 Walk Coordinator of the Year

Promise Walk Coordinator of the Year Award – Sarah Hughes: After surviving a harrowing case of postpartum preeclampsia after the birth of her daughter, this mom of two dedicated herself to helping other moms by starting the Philadelphia, Penn. Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in 2012 and raising over $70,000 over the past three years. In 2014 Sarah was named a Johnson & Johnson Social Influencer for Social Good for her use of her blog Finnegan and the Hughes to support the work of the Preeclampsia Foundation and other maternal and children's health causes.

What was your experience with preeclampsia?


Sarah_Hughes.jpg (31 KB)I suffered postpartum preeclampsia about 6 days after the birth of my second child, Hayley. I barely knew about preeclampsia and I had no idea it could happen in the postpartum stages. I spent 3 days in ICU, away from my children and scared for my life. I read all the baby books and even had a baby but still I knew next to nothing about preeclampsia

Why do you volunteer for the Preeclampsia Foundation?

I started volunteering because I wanted a walk near me so I could raise money and bring together other women that went through what I did. Once I realized how little people knew about Preeclampsia I then made it part of my life's mission to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. I also love to harp on how preeclampsia can also occur up to six week postpartum because I feel there is a misconception that delivery is a cure for preeclampsia.

What does it mean to you to be awarded the 2014 Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year?

It's a huge honor and wonderful way to be recognized for all the hard work my team and I put into our walk.   I have an amazing volunteer team that has worked tirelessly with me over the past 3 years and they deserve so much credit too! I work full time, have two little kids, write a blog and some days I just don't know if I can do it all anymore but it's always at those moments when I will get an email from a friend who has a friend in the hospital showing signs of preeclampsia. It's those moments when I am reminded why I do what I do and why I volunteer for the Preeclampsia Foundation.   At the end of the day it's all about keeping my eye on the real prize which is raising awareness.

What has been your most gratifying moment as a Foundation volunteer?

My most gratifying moments are always when I meet the walkers. When I look out into the crowd at the walk and see everyone that has come together in an effort to raise awareness. There are no words to describe how wonderful that feels.

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

I want our walk to surpass $50,000.00 in fundraising! I want to build more awareness on a national level by continuing using social media as a tool to bring in more women. I want MORE articles posted on major news outlets to raise awareness.

When I coordinated the 2012 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. we had 225 people come out to walk. Standing in front of other women who suffered like I did, and worse, and see that they were all there, because like me, they finally had hope! It was one of those rare moments when the world seemed balanced and right.

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