Back in 2012, I had the privileged and honor to be the official photographer of the St Louis Preeclampsia Foundation walk. My friend and fellow photographer, who had lost her first daughter, Abigail, due to pre-e was one of the people who was running the event that year. I have learned a lot about pre-e because of her, and how devastating and deadly is can be. For those of you who are not familiar with this deadly condition, Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.
Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy) and up to six weeks postpartum (after delivery), though in rare cases it can occur earlier than 20 weeks.
Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
Those are STAGGERING statistics! The Preeclampsia Foundation is the only national 501(c)(3) not-for-profit patient advocacy organization serving these woman and fighting against this condition. May is National Preeclampsia Awareness month, to raise awareness my friend has set up a Go Fund Me page to accept donations for the Preeclamsia Foundation in honor of her daughter. If you feel the desire to donate, please do so at HERE.
This same friend tagged me in a Facebook post this morning. Much to my surprise, the National Preeclampsia Foundation chose MY picture, from 3 years ago, out of all the chapters who have submitted pictures through out the last 3 years, to use as their Mother’s Day post!!! How awesome is that! CLICK HERE to see the post! Don’t forget to show your support by “liking” the Foundation’s Facebook page, too!