The HER (Hyperemesis Education & Research) Foundation proudly presented a check for more than $46 thousand to Dr. Marlena Fejzo, geneticist, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on Friday, September 14th. The donation will fund continued groundbreaking research on a relatively unknown, debilitating pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or HG. The disease rarely makes headlines, yet it afflicts hundreds of thousands of pregnant women around the globe annually, leaving them severely malnourished and dehydrated due to relentless nausea and vomiting that lands many in the hospital, and sometimes results in death if left untreated.
According to Ann Marie King, Co-Founder of the HER Foundation, "Friday's check ceremony would not be possible without the generous donations of those who have visited our website over the years in desperate need of answers and pledged their hard earned money in hope of finding a cure for HG." King, who also suffered from a severe case of HG, said "too many women with HG suffer in silence as their bodies fail them during one of the most important and what should be one of the happiest times of their lives, leaving them feeling forgotten or misunderstood. Often it is a husband or family member who stumbles upon the HER Foundation's website as their loved one lays in bed next to them too ill and weak to help themselves."
Dr. Marlena Fejzo, who has been heading up the HG research at UCLA said, "I am extremely grateful to the HER Foundation for supporting HG research. Every dollar brings us one step closer to finding a cause and cure for this devastating pregnancy disease. In addition to the continued support of the HER foundation, 1,800 women have generously donated their time to participate in the study."
Kimber MacGibbon, R.N., Co-Founder of HER Foundation and the world's leading advocate for HG women has helped thousands of these mothers. "Despite being diagnosed for centuries, HG is poorly understood and until we collaborated with UCLA and USC scientists over the last decade, it was one of the least researched pregnancy complications. This is ironic considering it is the second leading cause of hospitalization during pregnancy and results in nearly 300,000 visits to hospitals and clinics in the US alone each year. The cost of HG in terms of psychosocial impact and medical care is incalculable. Still, the only funding for research is from our compassionate donors. With improved treatment and greater awareness, the devastation HG causes can be lessened, as can the adverse effects on the children born to these mothers." continued MacGibbon.