The Preeclampsia Foundation is pleased to announce that Larissa Nickson and her family are the Central/Northern NJ Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ Mission Family. As this year’s face of preeclampsia, the Nicksons will lead the Promise Walk campaign by sharing their difficult childbirth story, and encouraging teams around the city to meet or exceed their fundraising goals.

“The Preeclampsia Foundation helped me after the loss of my daughter, said Nickson. “I was searching for answers to questions like, ‘What is preeclampsia and why did it happen to me?’ and ‘What can I do to prevent this next time?’”

Nickson turned to the Preeclampsia Foundation website and the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia as a source of information and to receive support.

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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.

“Through the Foundation's website, I was able to educate myself and find valid research to be better informed for my second pregnancy,” said Nickson. “I also joined the Preeclampsia Registry to provide DNA samples. It's such a simple way to be involved with research that will hopefully yield some positive results.”

She hopes she can use her family's experience to help others dealing with preeclampsia.

“So many people are unaware of this disorder and are especially unaware of how dangerous it can be for mother and baby. With the community at large being more aware of Preeclampsia, we can save the lives of women and babies,” said Nickson.

“This family is the face of the mission for the Promise Walk and represent the reason that our Foundation continues working to help save the lives of mothers and their babies,” explained Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas.

Nickson and her family will kick off the festivities and share their inspiring story at the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, on Sunday, May 21 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. The 7th Annual Cranford, NJ area Promise Walk is organized again this year by mother-daughter walk coordinator team, Stephanie and Marissa Steiner, both preeclampsia survivors. This event attracts participants from throughout Central and Northern New Jersey, and is sponsored locally (so far) by New Jersey Perinatal Associates, Applebee’s, RWJ Ob/Gyn Associates, PM Pediatrics, Turning Point Restaurants, Allstate Insurance of Springfield and Summit, Larissa Nickson’s Usborne Books & More and Alisa Molbert/Mancini Realty LBI. To register, visit www.promisewalk.orgcranford.

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™, the Preeclampsia Foundation works to achieve its mission to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.