By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Atlanta Area Family Making Strides to Raise Awareness of Preeclampsia 
Powell Family Named the Atlanta Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Mission Family to Help Call Attention to Serious Pregnancy Disorder Affecting Mothers, Babies 

Melbourne, FL – The Preeclampsia Foundation is pleased to announce that Brittney Powell and her family are the 2015 Atlanta, Georgia Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ Mission Family. As this year’s face of preeclampsia, the Powell 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. 

“I am the first in my family to suffer from Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome,” said Powell. “It was an incredibly frightening experience.” 

At her 27-week obstetrician visit, Powell’s blood pressure was extremely high. She was sent to the hospital and began three weeks of blood pressure checks, fetal monitoring, urine screens, and bed rest. When the urine proteins and blood pressure seemed to have returned to normal levels, she was sent home, but two weeks later, she awoke with severe upper abdominal pain and vomiting. Powell arrived at the hospital and tests revealed that she had HELLP Syndrome. Powell was whisked away to the operating room and her son was delivered at 32 weeks and 6 days gestation via emergency cesarean section. 

Seeking more information about their family’s traumatic pregnancy experience, Powell 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, Powell and her family were able to learn about preeclampsia, and network with a community of preeclampsia survivors. 

“The Preeclampsia Foundation website was a great place for research for my family as we faced something we knew little about,” commented Powell. “Our whole family believes it is so important to raise awareness of Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. We know that it is not preventable, but early detection leads to proper care and treatment.” She hopes she can use her family's experience to help others dealing with preeclampsia. 

“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. 

Powell and her family will kick off the festivities and share their inspiring story at the 2015 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, on May 30, 2015, at Lenora Park, 4515 Lenora Church Road, Snellville, GA 30058. To register, visit www.promisewalk.org/atlantaGA. 

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. We envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. Knowing the warning signs can lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes. For more information on the Foundation’s ongoing mission and resources, please visit www.preeclampsia.org