Lincoln making strides to raise awareness of preeclampsia

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LINCOLN, Neb. - More than 100 people will walk in Nebraska’s second annual Promise Walk for Preeclampsia this Saturday. The walk will take place at Holmes Lake Park, with preregistration at 1 p.m and the walk at 2 p.m.

The Preeclampsia Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, a dangerous disorder of pregnancy.

The Lincoln walk is one of more than 40 locations across the nation being held for Preeclampsia Awareness Month. The funds raised by the event support innovative research, drive patient education, improve healthcare practices and raise crucial public awareness about this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy.

Lincolnites Stephanie Reikofski and Brandee Weber are chairing the walk. Brandee is a mother of two who survived a severe form of preeclampsia called HELLP Syndrome (Hemolysis & Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low Platelets). Stephanie walks in honor of her twin sister Jeni Faustman, who lost her battle with HELLP Syndrome in 2014 shortly after giving birth. Kady Schwisow is this year's Mission Family. Kady was a healthy 28-year-old with a healthy pregnancy. Five years after giving birth and developing preeclampsia, she remains on blood pressure medicine and must see a kidney/hypertension specialist every six months. She's also hesitant to get pregnant again because of what might happen. Kady will tell her survivor story at the pre-walk ceremony, which will also include a pinwheel remembrance garden and moment of silence.

Preeclampsia, sometimes referred to by its older name “toxemia” or pregnancy-induced hypertension, is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine.

The cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood, and the only “cure” for the condition begins with delivery. Approximately 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, and it is responsible for approximately 18% of all maternal deaths.

For online registration information, go to www.promisewalk.org/lincolnnebraska

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