Nearly two years ago Jeff
and I were eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child. The baby�s
room wasn�t ready, we didn�t have a car seat, and I was scared out of
my mind to experience childbirth; but there was still time for sorting
all of that out. Little did we know that we had less time than we
thought. On October 29,
2004, I went to my doctor because two 24-hour urine tests had come
back with elevated levels of protein. By the Monday following my
admission to the hospital, I was experiencing stomach pain, headaches,
and vision problems. Ultimately,
I suffered from a severe case of
HELLP Syndrome which
resulted in liver and kidney failure, a brief coma, and a stroke that
left me immobile and on a feeding tube.
Click here to read more about my hospitalization and recovery.
Preeclampsia affects 6 million women every year and 76,000 of them DIE.
The number of babies who don�t survive this disorder is many times
higher. Preeclampsia is one of the oldest disorders on record, yet
still no cure exists.
In the months since my illness and recovery, I
have learned a lot about what is not described in
What to Expect When You are
Expecting and would like to help other families avoid a birth
experience like I had � or even worse. Mothers, babies, sisters, and
daughters are lost every year to preeclampsia at the one time that
should be one of the most joyous moments of their lives. On November
5, 2006, I will continue my recovery by participating in the New York
City Marathon and am seeking sponsorships of my effort to benefit the
Preeclampsia Foundation. The Preeclampsia Foundation, a nonprofit
501(c)3 organization launched in 2000, is dedicated to raising
awareness, funding research, and providing support to those impacted
by preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome, and other hypertensive disorders of
pregnancy. Visit their impressive website at
www.preeclampsia.org to learn more about the Foundation,
the disease, and courageous survivors.