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Laura Dale: Racing in Memory of Joan

Last Updated on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being up at 4 in the morning is no easy feat. But running 13.1 miles at 4 am? Anyone who has ever run a half or full marathon will tell you straight away that they are completely insane.

Like many preeclampsia survivors, member Laura Dale's harrowing experience with preeclampsia left her with the desire to make a change, to reaffirm her presence in the universe. Laura and her husband, Will, made the decision to run the annual Walt Disney World half-marathon. During the long process of training, she heard the story of Joan Donnelly, a loving wife and mother of three from Orlando, Fla., who lost her life to post-partum eclampsia late last year. Touched by the overwhelming, devastating sense of loss felt by her family and friends, Laura decided to run in Joan's honor.

Laura finished the half-marathon in 3 hours, 20 minutes and 43 seconds, tired and exhausted, but at the same time energized and exhilarated. For Laura and Will, the run was not about the publicity or the fanfare; it was about celebrating the life of a woman taken too early by preeclampsia.

As Laura stepped into the finished runners' area, filled with Disney mascots and thousands of runners with their families, we heard an announcement that brought tears to everyone's eyes: "We want to give a shout-out to Laura Dale of the Preeclampsia Foundation, running in memory of Joan Donnelly."

To re-experience Laura's marathon run, visit our twitter page.

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