Denise Dilley Martin is all too familiar with postpartum eclampsia.
She lost her 27-year-old daughter, Mariea Martin Teague, to this rare condition on June 27, 2017.
Teague had just been discharged from the hospital after giving birth when she developed symptoms which caused her to go into a seizure. She was immediately transported back to the hospital. Within a week Teague lost her life to PE.
In trying to process the grief of losing her daughter, Martin began personally walking her own half-marathon the same year her daughter passed away.
She chose the half-marathon because it would have been her daughter’s half-birthday.
After three years of soul searching, Martin decided to go public and organize a half-marathon event in order to bring awareness of PE to others. She named it the MT Half Marathon in honor of her late daughter.
This year will be the fifth annual MT Half Marathon, with it being the third year offered to the public.
Martin mentioned having a conversation with a friend in 2020 as they were walking.
The friend was concerned about another friend’s daughter who was having symptoms; Martin sent her some information immediately, and they got help right away which saved the friend’s daughter’s life.
“This is why I walk,” said Martin.
The walk/run will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at 325 East Part Ave., Pinebluff. The registration fee will be $27, which represents Teague’s age when she passed away: “Forever 27.”
Anyone interested in participating may sign up ahead or on the day of the marathon. Wristbands will be given out to everyone to spread awareness. All proceeds will go towards a college fund for Teague’s daughter, 5-year-old MaKayla Mariea Teague.
“When I get discouraged, I bring my focus back to the purpose of this race: to raise awareness of this condition,” Martin said. “I don’t want any more new moms dying. I don’t want other grandmoms like me grieving their daughter’s death, instead of celebrating that new grandbaby.
“Too many medical professionals have the belief that preeclampsia is ‘cured’ by having the baby, and don’t know that new mommies are still at risk at least six weeks postpartum.”
“Though the wristbands are for new moms to remind them that they are still healing, and #stillatRisk, this message is more for the dads, grandparents, sisters, aunties, or doulas — mom’s support people,” Martin continued. “They need to be aware of the symptoms, to be proactive in her aftercare. The things I witnessed with my Mariea were extreme restlessness — she couldn’t lie still — and an intense headache that couldn’t be relieved, even with medication.”
Martin is a member of the Mangum Track Club, a running group that supports local charities.
“When I started inviting my friends to join me on her half-birthday, of course many couldn’t come because they were working,” she said. “So, this year I changed it to the third weekend of October.”
“Some were out of state, or even country — Veronica Johnson ran her miles while living in Japan, where her husband was stationed — so I made it virtual, as well. Some folks that were willing, just couldn’t go the distance, so I created a 1-mile course giving more options.
Martin said the event isn’t about a race, but about awareness.
“That said, let’s get outside … remember my baby girl and get informed. Then, enjoy a stroll, walk, or run in the park.”
If at least three 5-year-olds show up, Martin said there will be a fun run for kids, as well.
Some symptoms of postpartum eclampsia are: high blood pressure; excess protein in urine; severe headaches; changes in vision; pain in upper belly/under ribs on right side; nausea/vomiting; shortness of breath; decreased urination; seizures; and other serious complications.
If you have any of the symptoms shortly after childbirth, contact your health care provider immediately.
For more information on this event, visit the Facebook page postpartum eclampsia MT ½ or call 910-986-4786.