This post is a bit different from our normal feature, but as soon as we saw the photos sent to us by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography, we knew we had to share! Carolyn captured this beautiful day as this wonderful group of people came together for the The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious, life-threatening disorder that can arise during pregnancy and postpartum, most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and baby. Please click here to take just a few moments to learn more about this dangerous and too often missed disorder.
Carolyn had her own personal ties to this emotional event, and shared more with us about the day:
"This event was filled with joy, inspiration, laughter, and many tears and the photographs document an amazing day for a cause that is now even more near and dear to my heart. About 6 years ago, a good friend suffered from Preeclampsia in her first pregnancy, and nearly lost her own life, and tragically she lost her little baby girl. She was about 8 months along in her pregnancy, and up until that day, she had an uncomplicated pregnancy. And while she now has 3 adorable boys, her heart will never forget her baby girl. So when she asked that I photograph the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia - Cranford, I couldn’t possibly say no, and I volunteered my time to help this important cause.
"It turned out to be an incredibly inspiring day, and I met a ton of wonderful people, who smiled despite the torrential rain, and who cried together as we listened to the stories from the opening ceremony speakers. Mother-daughter walk coordinator team, Stephanie Steiner and her 13-year-old Marissa, who are both preeclampsia survivors started the ceremony. Marissa embraced her role as the youngest Promise Walk co-coordinator among 50 walk locations nationwide. The next guest speaker was Dr. Joseph Apuzzio, Director of Maternal & Fetal Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and chair of the NJ section of the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) who spoke about Preeclampsia and the warning signs and symptoms. Then Larry Bloomstein, this year’s Mission Family for the Cranford Promise Walk, spoke about the life of his wife, Lauren Bloomstein, a sweet, young woman who lost her life to Preeclampsia just hours after delivering their beautiful baby girl, Hailey. I can still feel the emotions of the crowd that listened to these speakers when viewing these photographs from the day."