The Preeclampsia Foundation of Canada will be hosting the third annual Promise Walk for Preeclampsia at Confederation Park on Sunday, May 26th, 2019.
Funds raised will go towards Preeclampsia Foundation Canada’s efforts “to reduce maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy through patient education, public awareness and research.”
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system — most often the liver and/or kidneys. If left untreated, Preeclampsia can lead to serious and even fatal complications for mother and/or baby. The Preeclampsia Foundation Canada states that Preeclampsia affects 1 in 12 pregnancies, and approximately 10 million mothers will develop preeclampsia across the world each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), preeclampsia is one of the least funded areas of research.
The walk is “really about awareness,” according to Lead Walk Coordinator Jaymee Davis. “We have a moment of silence for babies and moms who have passed. It’s really important for people to come and see that side of preeclampsia. They need to see what is happening because the future of the community is women who are having children.”
The cause is close to heart for Davis: during her last pregnancy, both Davis and her son developed severe preeclampsia.
“I wasn’t educated about preeclampsia. People don’t know the symptoms,” said Davis. “There’s not really this emphasis on it, but there needs to be.”
“It was hard for me to tell my story”, said Davis, and described feeling “swept under the rug” after her experience with people who didn’t understand.
“You get this feeling of ‘oh my goodness, I must have done something wrong’, but it can happen to anyone. Its my duty to let those women know that their voices are heard that they are not alone in this process.”
Davis spoke about the difficulties of raising money and awareness for a disease many people had never heard of. While the first two years of the walk had a modest turn out, she said she feels optimistic for this year’s event and the future of preeclampsia awareness.
“I really feel like there’s a big change happening,” she expressed.
The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Foundation Canada will be taking place Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 9:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Confederation Park across from City Hall.