COLUMBIA — Newberry Academy Headmaster Brian Fitzgerald and his family will be raising awareness this weekend for the March of Dimes.
The Fitzgerald’s, Newberry’s Ambassador family for the March of Dimes, has been asked to represent Newberry at the Macy’s Shop for a Cause event on Aug. 23 at the Columbia Mall, 7201 Two Notch Road.
The event gives shoppers the opportunity to purchase a $5 savings pass that entitles them to 25 percent off all day long on regular, sale and clearance items. This includes home goods and many brands usually excluded from promotions.
“The best part is that 100 percent of the $5 you spend goes directly to benefit the March of Dimes,” Fitzgerald’s wife, Karen, said. “As we say, you know you love to shop, so why not make those purchases really count.”
Brian and Karen’s son, Vaden, will accompany them from 8 a.m. to noon. Vaden was born premature at 30 weeks due to Karen acquiring a life-threatening condition called HELLP Syndrome.
HELLP stands for:
• H- hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells)
• EL- elevated liver enzymes (liver function)
• LP- low platelets counts (platelets help the blood clot)
According to americanpregnancy.org, HELLP Syndrome will always occur in connection with preeclampsia, but there are times when the symptoms of HELLP will occur without a diagnosis of preeclampsia being made. About 4 to 12 percent of women with diagnosed preeclampsia will develop HELLP syndrome.
The symptoms of HELLP may cause misdiagnoses of other conditions such as hepatitis, gallbladder disease, or idiopathic/thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP, which is a bleeding disorder).
Weighing in at only 3 pounds, 2 ounces, Vaden spent six weeks in the NICU in Florence before he came home, where Karen said he remained on a heart and apnea monitor for six months.
“We are happy to say that despite his rough start, he is now a happy and very healthy little boy who just celebrated his second birthday in June,” Karen said.