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Where have your shoes taken you?

Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome are journeys that no patient ever expects to take. Our Promise Walk tagline is "Making Strides, Delivering Hope" because we know that each patient's journey can help make strides toward a better future. It’s amazing that something so simple can take us to complex, life-changing places.

In early August 2021, we asked our community to submit photos to tell us where their shoes had taken them as a way to celebrate the 2021 @PromiseWalk for Preeclampsia. We never expected to be so overwhelmed with beautiful emotions of their stories! Below are our contest winner and our top finalists with their beautiful images and stories. We hope you enjoy!

It's our privilege to announce that Lauren F.'s beautiful photo of Hanalei Valley Lookout, Kauai County, HI is our 2021 winner - but it's her story that inspired us the most. You see, Lauren is a unique kind of preeclampsia survivor - the 18-year-old daughter who was once a premature baby because of this disease.

Lauren pic.jpeg (4.04 MB)

Here's her story in her own words:

“I was prematurely born in June of 2003 because my mom had preeclampsia and then it developed into HELLP syndrome. My lung collapsed 24 hours after I was born, and I had to be sent to a different hospital than my mom so I could get higher care. I’m healthy, well, and headed off to Northern Arizona University for college in a few weeks. The Preeclampsia Foundation has been a source of information, healing, and support for my family over the past 18 years of my life - thank you so much for all the work you do and will continue to do.” 

Finalists:  

Mandi shoes.png (1.55 MB)

Mandi G. from Pinellas County, Florida shared the above photo and wrote:

 “These shoes have walked us through the journey of parenthood. Parenthood is bumpier than a tall mountain, saltier than the vast ocean, and trickier than a winding trail. However, parenthood is also more enriching than any museum, funnier than a comedy show, and more beautiful than a field of flowers. Our shoes are dirty from the adventures that we have seen together but I feel blessed that I get to be the the one to walk in them.”

 

Kristen photo entry.jpg (5.04 MB)

Kristen B. shared this multi-year photo and wrote: 

“Little Miss Peanut has been our Promise Walk team since 2016. We've been doing these in South Jersey/Philadelphia for the past 6 years now, but the last 2 have been at home for the virtual walks. I was co-chair in 2017. We've raised hundreds for the Preeclampsia Foundation over the years. Each pic in the collage is from each year, with a special one in 2019 when I was about 35 weeks with our 2nd baby - who appears in the 2020 pic! No preeclampsia with him, although I've been on BP meds ever since."

 

Victoria Photo.jpg (4.92 MB)

Victoria R. shared this photo from Colorado and wrote: 

“I'm mom to Elliot and our little Lily (our angel baby). On April 19th, 2021, I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome when I was 27w6d with our little Lily. Lily was diagnosed at 24w with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and struggled with severe growth restriction. Due to her CDH, growth restriction, and her premature birth due to my development of HELLP, Lily's only option for care was comfort care. CDH babies need to be big enough to receive the necessary interventions and at 27w6d, Lily was just too little for those interventions. While her underlying rare diagnoses were what prevented her from being able to thrive, it was my diagnosis of HELLP Syndrome that necessitated her birth and prevented her from having the time she needed to continue to grow.

Recently on July 13th, we traveled back home to Colorado to spread some of Lily's ashes on her due date. This spot is a deeply meaningful location as it is the one hike I completed when I was pregnant with both my son Elliott and our little Lily. This is her space, her forever view, and I think it is the best space I've hiked, walked, or run since losing Lily. This hike was a huge marker of my diagnosis with HELLP and Lily's life that was lost as a result of my diagnosis and her rare diagnoses. I would give anything to have Lily here with us, and until we are reunited with her in Heaven, we will be hiking to this spot often, to see her, to honor her, and to remember how far we have come since I too was facing death due to HELLP Syndrome.”

Where have your shoes taken you during your process as a survivor and/or supporter of the Foundation? We would love to hear more from you!

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