Health & Wellness

NJ Family Making Strides to Raise Awareness of Preeclampsia

February 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

The Preeclampsia Foundation is pleased to announce that Larry Bloomstein of Brielle, NJ (a 1996 Livingston High School graduate) and his infant daughter Hailey, are the 2013 Cranford, NJ Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ Mission Family. As this year’s face of preeclampsia for the Cranford area walk, which will be held on May 19, Bloomstein will lead the Promise Walk campaign by sharing his story and encouraging teams around the state to meet or exceed their fundraising goals.

The Cranford, NJ Promise Walk is coordinated by Springfield residents Stephanie Steiner and her daughter Marissa, both preeclampsia survivors.

Bloomstein’s wife Lauren developed preeclampsia at the end of her pregnancy, which progressed rapidly into a severe variant known as HELLP syndrome. Even after delivery, Lauren's blood pressure continued to rise to critically high levels, and just five hours later, Lauren suffered a fatal stroke.“Traumatized, I had to leave the hospital to plan Lauren's funeral and figure out how to provide for the needs of a newborn,” said Bloomstein.

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Bloomstein searched for answers and found the Preeclampsia Foundation. “I attended the 2012 Cranford, NJ Promise Walk with Hailey and was amazed to find that we were not alone,” said Bloomstein.While there, Bloomstein heard numerous families sharing stories of delays in diagnosis. “I was saddened by the long-term effects preeclampsia had on both mother and baby, many of which could have been preventable with immediate care. I knew that I wanted to take action to help other women like Lauren.”

The Preeclampsia Foundation is the only national nonprofit patient advocacy organization for the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Through their national fundraising event The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, the Preeclampsia Foundation works to achieve its mission to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices.

“It is unacceptable that an average of two women die during childbirth each day in the U.S.” said Bloomstein. “Together we are working to make all pregnant women aware of this condition, so they look for the early warning signs and make sure their health care providers can identify and take action early to save the lives of mom and baby.”

Bloomstein, along with the Steiners, will kick off the festivities and share his story at the 2013 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, on Sunday, May 19, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ, which is a 5K walk. For more information, or to register to walk/donate please visit: www.promisewalk.org/cranford.

About Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period, and affects both the mother and the fetus. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine; other symptoms may include swelling in the hands and face, headaches, and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia affects the mother's kidneys, liver and other vital organs and, if undetected or untreated, can lead to seizures (eclampsia), cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death.

The cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood, and the only cure for the condition begins with delivery. Approximately five to eight percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, which, in the United States, translates to approximately 300,000 pregnancies. It is a leading cause of preterm birth, and is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal deaths and half a million infant deaths worldwide annually. There are several types of preeclampsia, including HELLP syndrome, a particularly dangerous variant.

About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is the only national nonprofit patient advocacy organization for the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Through their national fundraising events the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ and Saving Grace - A Night of Hope™, the Preeclampsia Foundation works to achieve its mission to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices. We envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. Knowing the warning signs can lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes. For more information on the Foundation’s ongoing mission and resources, please visit www.preeclampsia.org.

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