March 2018

A survivor's story: From ICU to 26.2! 

Rachel Yencha in Lakewood, Ohio, knows what it takes to overcome challenges; she suffered preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and placenta accreta with her pregnancy in 2015. Rachel nearly lost her life twice during the medical ordeal and spent several days in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The after-effects were also challenging -- Rachel was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fast forward three years and Rachel has taken on another challenge -- to run the London Marathon in April as a way to raise money for the Preeclampsia Foundation! That's 26.2-miles! She's running as an example of overcoming adversity for her healthy three-year-old daughter.

Rachel is also an example to other preeclampsia survivors and families that commitment to the cause can take many forms, including fundraising. She's already hit her fundraising goal of $2,600 and continues to receive donations from family and friends. Her secret? "You just have to ask," says Rachel. "I'm introverted by nature and I found that setting up a Facebook page for the event helped a lot. The Preeclampsia Foundation also set up a fundraising page for me, which I use to share my message. Small donors definitely make a big difference!"

For information on how you can get creative to raise funds for the Preeclampsia Foundation, call Sean Farrell, Director of Development, at 321-421-6957 or email
When Rikki's pregnancy got complicated
By Rikki Dee Brown

My pregnancy was perfection. I started training for a bikini competition prior to conception so I was in amazing shape, drinking a ton of water, eating clean, and working out five days a week. I felt amazing until I got a severe headache one day. When it did not subside I asked some friends who instructed me to take my blood pressure. Sure enough, it was high - 152/90. 

I went to my 35-week appointment the next day. My blood pressure was elevated so I was sent to L&D Triage. It leveled out, they sent me home. This happened again at my 36-week appointment. At the 37-week appointment I was advised I should be induced. T hat Monday before I delivered I started having regular contractions three to four minutes apart and had high blood pressure so I was admitted.
Reviewing maternal deaths is the first step in prevention
Data from nine states' Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) has been collected and analyzed under the "Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths" project. For the first time, this report includes recommendations for prevention and more detailed analysis of factors and themes associated with the leading causes of maternal death.
Over 60% of pregnancy-related deaths were deemed preventable, up from 59% in last year's report.

The most common factors identified as contributing to the death were patient/family factors (e.g., lack of knowledge on warning signs and need to seek care), followed by factors related to providers (e.g., misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments) and systems of care (e.g., lack of coordination between providers). While those factors reflect the report's generalized findings, they also closely mirror what we hear at the Preeclampsia Foundation -- both anecdotally and in our data collection.
Are you ready to champion our cause?

If you consider yourself a c hampion for change in maternal health -- or would like to learn how to advocate for our cause -- please join us at the Preeclampsia Foundation Summit on Friday, October 12, to Sunday, October 14, at The Westin Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois.

The extensive two-day multifaceted training program is designed to empower the Foundation's volunteer leaders as they advance the understanding of preeclampsia in their communities as well as on a national level.  It provides an opportunity for champions to connect, learn, celebrate, and ignite their passion with other community leaders as one body of powerful constituents that make our shared mission possible.

Go here for more information or contact Rebecca Miller, Community Education and Engagement Manager, via email at .
There's still time to get a free Promise Walk t-shirt!

St. Patrick's Day is coming up on Saturday, March 17, which is also the extended deadline to get your FREE  Promise Walk for Preeclampsia  T-shirt! Just register for a walk and raise $100 by then and the t-shirt is yours! 

We'd like to welcome two new Promise Walk events in:

Los Angeles, California

Tacoma, Washington

To find a Promise Walk near you, go to  and enter your state in the search box.

We hope to see you there!