SPONSORED: As many of you know, we have an ongoing “NYC Dads Care” program that gets us involved in doing volunteer activities with organizations like BabyBuggy, raising funds during Movember, and other initiatives that fit in with our core values. As part of our NYC Dads Care program, a fleet of NYC Dads Group members and their families teamed up with Britax / BOB and participated in The Promise Walk to raise awareness for Preeclampsia. Thanks to NYC Dads Group member Jeff Chew for this post about the event. -L.S.
I Googled “preeclampsia” when I first heard about “The Promise Walk” for Preeclampsia through the NYC Dads Meetup Group. “Do you know what preeclampsia is,” I asked my wife, “you’ve heard of this before?”
“Yes, I’ve heard of it.”
“I studied epidemiology, so I picked it up from there.”
“But people who haven’t studied that usually wouldn’t know about preeclampsia?”
Quite disturbing to hear, since my ‘Googling’ told me that it happens in 6-8% of pregnancies worldwide. That is a pretty scary number! But truth be told, I never knew any friends or relatives that ever had to go through such a condition. I also felt incredibly fortunate that my wife never had to go through this with our son (who is now 8 months old and healthy), where apparently this condition is most common in first pregnancies.
I have to be brutally honest. I had other reasons for originally wanting to be part of the Promise Walk team that would trek over the Brooklyn Bridge with our families. I am a relatively new member of the NYC Dads Group and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to meet other dads and their families. Additionally, not to be trumped by the other amazing events this group has organized like free advanced movie screenings, gym and music classes, and other get-togethers, Britax was generous enough to provide a B-Agile stroller to some newcomers of the NYC Dads Care program for the Promise Walk as well as cover our registration fees. I was sold!
I brought my wife and my son to Walt Whitman Park in Brooklyn on the day of the event. Since we arrived early, we had plenty of time to get to know the other members of the group. It was delightful to meet all different kinds of dads, each with their beautiful families. What was most refreshing was the lack of pretentiousness, and each and every member brought infectiously positive energy to that park.
Before we left, everyone gathered up for an enormous group photo (see above). The organizers of the Promise Walk began sharing their speeches. It was heartwarming to hear how passionate the speakers were about raising awareness of Preeclampsia. One of the speakers began to tell her first-hand experience with this condition, and I really could feel the pain in her voice, and could only imagine what her ordeal must have been. When the speeches were over, I put my arm around my wife as we started out with the rest of the group. She must have thought it was just part of the usual way we walk together, but my thoughts were about how fortunate I was.
The dads’ group was met by a police officer, who asked if we were ready to go. A personal police escort! Definitely, the only way to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge! Wish I had this when I used to jog over this bridge.
As the group walked, Lance Somerfeld, our fearless leader, took a moment to look back at the fleet of dads, moms, kids, and babies, and said “this is what it’s all about!”
We stopped in the middle of the bridge for another group photo, where our valiant police escort offered to take the picture for us. Normally in this situation, passers-by wouldn’t think twice about walking into your shot. Apparently, when a cop is behind the camera, they let him take his time!
When we finally reached the other end of the bridge, some families made the u-turn to walk back over to Walt Whitman Park for more activities and fun for the kids (and apparently a raffle and contest too, including Britax strollers). However, my wife and I had afternoon plans so we (and a number of other families) decided to head out from there.
I know I originally had other reasons for taking part in The Promise Walk, but now I honestly do not know of a better way for my family and me to spend our Saturday that day. Lance and the rest of the NYC Dads Group really created something special, along with socially responsible companies and organizations like Britax and the Preeclampsia Foundation. Raising awareness for preeclampsia is something that needs to be done. People shouldn’t have to study epidemiology in school or have a loved one suffer from this to find out what this is. If walking over the Brooklyn Bridge with a bunch of awesome dads is a good start for bringing attention to preeclampsia, then I want to know when’s the next time we get to do this. But until then, I think you should do a quick Google search like what I did, and read more about it.
**Disclosure Note: This is a paid, sponsored event with Britax / BOB. The opinions expressed in this post are our own and have not been influenced by our sponsor. We limit our advertising to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.
About the author
Jeff Chew is a member of the NYC Dads Group. He is a Senior Presentation Layer Engineer at Razorfish, and lives in Manhattan with his wife and eight-month-old son.