Becky's wish had come true:
she and her sister could celebrate
being mothers together!

Becky Whitman couldn't be happier: her sister and best friend Rikki Ziska was going to be a mom. She energetically imagined herself as the ultimate aunt, just like Rikki was to Becky's own infant daughter, Blayne.

From the outset, Rikki's pregnancy was complicated. She was 35 with an autoimmune condition, and had struggled for many years to become pregnant.

So when they found out they were expecting, Rikki and her husband Nick were overjoyed.

At 22 weeks, Rikki developed rapid-onset HELLP syndrome. Her liver, heart and lung functions were deteriorating rapidly and she was immediately hospitalized.

As she waited with family, Becky begged the doctor, "Can't you wait until he is a few weeks older so that he has some sort of chance?"

The only option: deliver the baby.  If they waited, mom and baby would die.

"It was very hard for us to wrap our heads around what was happening and why there was nothing that the doctors could do to stop what was inevitable," Becky remembers. 

Becky's tiny nephew, Reid Nicholas Ziska,
was born into heaven at 22 weeks.
He was the size of a doll. 

"When I wish... I wish my daughter could grow up knowing her cousin Reid." ~ Becky Whitman
Now, Becky often tells her daughter Blayne about Reid. Every year, Blayne sends balloons into the sky on Reid's angel-versary to share with her baby cousin.

Our wish is that every aunt gets to celebrate a precious new life to spoil. To watch her nieces and nephews grow up beside her own children.

Around the world, 500,000 babies die because of preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Even in the United States.

We want a world where health care providers can tell families like Becky's that, yes, we CAN give the baby a chance. Research has moved us closer than ever to being able to predict preeclampsia early.

But this is still not enough.

In 2013, we launched The Preeclampsia Registry, the first database of it's kind for affected families like Becky and Rikki's. The Registry will provide researchers with unparalleled access to significant numbers of patients and family members to truly move our world closer to a treatment. But it can only make a difference with your support.

With your help, we can catalyze research, advance our scientific understanding and medical practices, and together help create a world where preeclampsia and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies like Reid Ziska.

Please join us today with a gift to support our mission so when an aunt makes a wish... it can be one of joy, inspiration and wonder. 

Thank you.

Eleni Tsigas
Executive Director
About The Preeclampsia Foundation 
The Preeclampsia Foundation ( is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to reduce maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving healthcare practices. We envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. Our non-profit tax identification number is 91-2073087.