On Nov 4th, I will be running the Golden Gate Half Marathon for Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Christy Turlington-Burns, which works to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women.
I am running this race with Team EMC for the 3rd year in a row, in honor of my son Jack's 3rd birthday! And I'm hoping to top last year's fundraiser because you guys are so generous;)
Some background info first - The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate (MMR). In fact, the US's MMR has nearly doubled over the past 25 years. An estimated 800 women in the US die from pregnancy or childbirth complications each year; but the statistics are far more dire if you are a woman of color. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die than white women, 12 times more likely if they live in NYC (regardless of income or education). Hemorrhage and cardiovascular disease are the most common causes of maternal mortality, and >60% of these deaths are thought to be preventable. For every woman that dies, an estimated 50 women almost die.
After Jack was born, I was an 'almost.' Following his birth, I needed 4 emergency surgeries after post-partum hemorrhages, roughly 20 units of blood products, resuscitation during my 3rd surgery, and an emergency hysterectomy during my 4th to survive.
I was fortunate to give birth in California, a state leader in improving maternal health outcomes, and in a hospital that implemented "safety bundles," utilized hemorrhage carts and ran team drills to prepare for obstetric emergencies like mine; and was cared for by a team of physicians who valued my concerns. EMC is working to advance these improvements in all states.
Despite my complications, I can now say that my family had the best outcome possible- a healthy mom and a healthy baby. I will do everything in my power to make sure that every woman gets their best outcomes.
I run with Team EMC as a way to raise awareness and funds for our country's maternal health issues. I also run with gratitude for my own health, and with the motivation that all women should have the same.
Please consider donating to my race fund. Thank you very, very much.