Health & Wellness

Livingston's Meredith Prescott to Hold Second Annual "Pump It Up For Platelets!" 5K Walk/Run at the Oval

Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl Credits: Meredith Prescott
Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl Credits: Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl
Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl Credits: Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl
Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl Credits: Meredith Prescott and Linda McGuirl

LIVINGSTON – Last summer, Livingston High School (LHS) Alumni Meredith Prescott spent her summer organizing a community 5-Kilometer Walk-A-Thon as a fundraiser for a blood disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). This year, Prescott has teamed up with fellow ITP patient and NJ ITP Support Group Facilitator Linda McGuirl to organize what they are hoping will become an annual “Pump It Up For Platelets!” Walk/Run at the Livingston Oval on Sunday, June 8.

ITP is an autoimmune disease that is fairly common but often ignored, where the body intensifies immune attacks that target and destroy an individual’s platelets. Prescott and McGuirl, 50, were both diagnosed with the disease at age 21 and have been heart-set on raising awareness and funding for the cause ever since.

Last year, family, friends and various local community members became active participants in support of the cause and ultimately raised more than $45,000. But because the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) is the sole organization fully supporting ITP, Prescott’s biggest hope for this year is to spread the word even further in order to raise the highest possible number, while also educating the community about the disorder.

Sign Up for E-News

“We don’t get government funding and it’s people’s lives on the line,” Prescott said. “We need to come together to spread awareness, raise money and find a cure.”

According to Prescott, ITP is unique because there is no right treatment for any one patient. She said it is heart-breaking for her to realize that children are passing away from this disease because not enough people understand or even recognize what it is, and lives go unnoticed as a result. The main difference between last year’s event and this year’s, she hopes, is that more people will understand the disease and recognize the significance of donating or attending.

“This blood disorder is devastating on every possible level,” Prescott said. “It breaks my heart when I talk to kids who have it because they are robbed of a childhood by living with a disease that no one has ever heard of.”

Recently, Prescott began blogging for the Huffington Post, where she talks about her disease in a post called “What’s Your Number? One Number Could Cost Your Life.” The blog itself discusses how ITP affects almost ten times as many people as hemophilia, yet almost no one knows anything about it.

“It is not genetic and does not discriminate against its victims, as ITP attacks those from all demographics,” she said. “The frustration of dealing with ITP and battling an unknown and unpredictable disease has been the catalyst for me to advocate and spread awareness to better the ITP community.”

Prescott’s blog certainly helps in raising awareness about the disease, but it is not enough. Prescott said partnering with Linda McGuirl, who has had the disease for 29 years, was her smartest decision moving forward because the duo is exceptionally driven and they both fully understand why it’s so necessary to hold these local events. Additionally, even though the ITP community is a small one and is at a disadvantage for funding, McGuirl also has connections to the community that could ultimately make all the difference in their effort.

During the time that McGuirl was diagnosed, there was very little information available about ITP. Despite her disease, McGuirl continued to follow her dreams and was able to have three healthy children, making it all the more vital for her to get the word out now.

McGuirl organized the same event in her own hometown of Basking Ridge, forming an immediate bond with Prescott, who organized the first ever “Pump it Up For Platelets!” event in Livingston. The two will combine their efforts on Sunday, June 8, at what they hope will be the biggest ITP walk/run event since its inception in 2010.

Some of the event’s sponsors include but are not limited to: the Carchia Group, Morgan Stanley and HCHY, with food and drink generously provided by Livingston Bagel and Starbucks.

Having the opportunity to raise awareness about this unrecognized and uncommon disease is Prescott’s main inspiration in co-hosting the event. Those interested can pre-register, make a donation or find more information at http://pdsa.donorpages.com/PumpItUpNJ2014/. Prescott’s blog on ITP can also be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-prescott/whats-your-number_b_5307242.html

“Don't let your compassion stop at wishing to see others free from suffering,” Prescott said. “Do something.”

Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Prescott shared her optimism that her story will encourage other patients to speak up and share their own stories so a cure can be found. Registration/Check-in will begin at noon and the event will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Livingston Oval on Sunday, June 8.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Real Estate News You Can Use

INVENTORY…INVENTORY…INVENTORY!!!  Where is it??  The 2016 recap of sales statistics for our local communities indicated inventories were at close to historical lows for many towns.  Well, here is what has happened in the past month and where we stand today.  The weather has been mild thus far which is prompting a steady and growing “Spring Market” ...

Livingston Winter Track Captain Eric Schneider Named Livingston Athlete of the Week

February 20, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School winter track senior captain Eric Schneider has been named Dr. Michael Rieber’s Livingston Athlete of the Week for excelling in his final season as a Lancer.

With an impressive time of 7.88 in the 55-meter hurdles, Schneider recently qualified for the Eastern States Championships to be held on Feb. 28. This past weekend, he also ...

Charges Against Lieutenant Disputed Amidst Ongoing Lawsuit with Borough of Caldwell

February 22, 2017

CALDWELL, NJ — A public hearing recently held in Caldwell was the newest development in an ongoing legal battle between the Borough of Caldwell and Lt. Michael Geary, in which Chief of Police James Bongiorno and Detective Sgt. Brad Palatucci testified that Lt. Geary was insubordinate to a direct order related to an incident that occurred in August.

Lt. Geary, who previously filed a ...

Five Everyday Objects That Could Set Your House on Fire

The most cost effective approach to managing risk is to be proactive about reducing hazards and preventing accidents. When it comes to home fires, the most common causes of loss might not be what you expect. Less obvious dangers like the five detailed below actually cause more losses than major events, both because small risks may go unnoticed and because they occur frequently.  

Laptops ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_18eccf5b215723cf8edd_screen_shot_2017-02-22_at_11.33.09_am

Thu, February 23, 5:00 PM

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Livingston

Dine to Donate for FLY RED

Community Calendar Food & Drink Giving Back

Carousel_image_79548a876edeb5df282b_eb72b149b363cd11febd_a1b7f06aa53b6ab2ba46_shipwrecked_icon

Fri, February 24, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_e2a526d36548c43c5db5_7d5f56837a0f6d267893_seton_hall_graduate_open_house

Sat, February 25, 12:00 PM

University Center, South Orange

Seton Hall Graduate Open House

Education

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen

February 15, 2017

To the Editor:

There has been much discussion recently about representatives in our government who pretend to represent their constituents, but who have been corrupted by special interest groups or blind self-interest. Unfortunately, in the 11th District, we have one such politician who, by his actions, is a significant part of the problem that we have in the federal government.

Route 10 Lane Closures Required for Resurfacing and Signal Improvement Project

February 16, 2017

LIVINGSTON & WEST ORANGE, NJ — New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced the start of a resurfacing project on Route 10 that will require single-lane closures between Livingston and West Orange in Essex County as the project advances beginning Friday, Feb. 17.

From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays and continuing for several weeks, NJDOT contractor Schifano ...

A Heartbreak Kid

It hurts.

 

She was sobbing pretty hard when she said it, so it came out more as a halting stutter.  It hu . . . hu . . . hu . . . rts. 

 

My arms were wrapped around her and her head was buried in my shoulder as she cried.  She was just a little girl the last time I comforted her like this.  Now she is a young woman.  

 

With a broken ...