The Preeclampsia Foundation recently announced that Katie Plis and her family are the Syracuse Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Mission Family. As this year’s face of preeclampsia, the Plis family will lead the Promise Walk campaign by sharing their compelling childbirth story, and encouraging teams around the city to meet or exceed their fundraising goals.
The Syracuse Promise Walk for Preeclampsia will be held May 21 at Willow Bay at Onondaga Lake Park. For more information visit promisewalk.org/syracuse.
“The Preeclampsia Foundation helped once I was diagnosed. I use the website to learn more about what I was going through and what I should expect,” said Katie Plis, a young mom at only 25 years old and former LeMoyne College basketball star who was working out five days a week during the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy.
“I had to have an emergency C-section at 32 weeks due to my liver enzymes. The experience was traumatizing and my family and I were not prepared for the situation. I had to recover and our baby girl spent five long weeks in the NICU. It wasn’t what we expected of our first pregnancy.”
Seeking more information about their family’s traumatic pregnancy experience, Plis turned to the Preeclampsia Foundation website and the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia as a source of information and to receive support.
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 educational programs Katie and her family were able to learn about preeclampsia, and network with a community of preeclampsia survivors.
“I think the education and support is extremely important for all pregnant women for many reasons. The symptoms of preeclampsia need to be taken seriously and women need to be aware of what could happen. It isn’t just the trauma of having preeclampsia, you can never prepare for how emotionally draining having a child in the NICU can be.”
“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,” said Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas.
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.
For more information about the Preeclampsia Foundation visit preeclampsia.org.