Local woman is honored as a
L’oreal Paris ‘Woman of Worth’
“We started this organization because there was nothing out there for us,” Addison said. “It was literally called a rare and orphaned disease, yet with 200,000 American women struggling with its impact every year, it’s hardly what you’d call rare.”
Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It affects both the mother and the unborn child. It is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine.
Addison said that over 180 women die of this disease each year in the United States alone.
Addison and her family moved to Lake Stevens a year ago after having lived in Bellevue for several years.
Her children, ages eight to 22 still attend school in Bellevue while staying with their father, except for her oldest son who is attending Western Washington University.
Addison also works in Bellevue as Executive Director for the Microsoft Alumni Giving Foundation.
Her son Kieran, whose birth prompted her passion for the issue, turned 11 years old this summer. He won the pizza-eating contest at Aquafest and the bike from Sahara Pizza.
“It was particularly moving for us as Kieran has Asperger’s Syndrome and didn’t know how to ride a bike,” Addison stated. “He was on cloud nine that day. He cites that as the number one reason he likes living in Lake Stevens.”
Addison and her family love the small town feel of Lake Stevens. It reminds her of growing up in Anchorage, Alaska at a time when everybody knew everyone else.
“My kids feel so happy here,” she said. “We wanted to be near a lake, find a more affordable, older home. But most of all, we wanted to be part of a community.”
Living in a smaller town reinforces values and makes you realize that you can impact your world, Addison explained.
Through her work with the Preeclampsia Foundation, Addison found that she can do anything she sets her mind to.
“It certainly was not my plan to become a poster child for preeclampsia, she said. “The thing I am most proud of is that my website has not changed in eight years. It is still accessible and easy to use.”
The biggest honor in receiving the L’oreal award was being chosen among so many strong and amazing women.
“The by-product of the event was that all of these women who have been struggling to do these things alone came together,” Addison said. “They have been shouldering these things for years.”
Other “Women of Worth” include a long-time teacher from L.A. who realized that over 2,000 of her past students had been killed in gang related incidents. She started a home called Mama’s Hill where kids can go and feel safe. Nine of the 10 students she helped last year graduated from high school.
Another honoree was the woman who founded The Hugs Project, which sends U.S. troops handmade items for warmth or cooling.
More information can be found on the “Woman of Worth” awards by visiting www.woman of worth.com.
Addison’s foundation was started with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You can visit the website by logging on to www.preeclampsia.org.