NEW DRUG RESEARCH FOR HG – Neurologist conducts trial research over the next 4 years

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From left to right: Dr. Tom Guttuso Jr., MD., Kimber MacGibbon, RN (HER Co-founder), Dr. Marlena Fejzo, PhD, and Ann Marie King (HER Co-founder)

“Although the preliminary data look promising, there is far too little evidence available at this time to recommend using gabapentin to treat HG. In the circumstances where a patient’s HG symptoms are severe, have not responded to any other treatments, and are to the point where the patient is considering terminating her pregnancy, a trial of gabapentin could be considered if the obstetrician and the patient are agreeable. In 3-4 years, we should have the results of our large study that will provide the necessary evidence to guide clinical practice regarding gabapentin use for HG.” said Dr. Tom Guttuso, MD.

Meet Dr. Thomas Guttuso, Jr., MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University at Buffalo and HER Foundation Advisory Board member. Dr. Guttuso is currently conducting research trial with HG women using a drug called gabapentin. Dr. Guttuso met the HER Founders and Dr. Marlena Fejzo, PhD of University of California Los Angeles, who is also a HER Advisory Board member, this past fall in Pittsburgh at the Biology of Nausea and Vomiting conference.

Kimber MacGibbon, co-founder and Director of Research and Education of the HER Foundation had this to say about Dr. Guttuso’s current research, “We are excited to have Dr. Guttuso on our Advisory Board and we appreciate Dr. Guttuso’s interest in the treatment of HG. His new research trial of the medication gabapentin (Neurontin) for women with refractory HG is novel and if effective, offers new hope to pregnant mothers who have given up on finding effective care, or have had adverse reactions to currently available treatments. The HER Foundation will continue its mission to seek out and support responsible researchers and clinicians that provide compassionate care to women with HG.”

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One Small Step for Woman, One Huge Leap for HG Awareness #LEAP4HG

parachuteMeet Nicola Lennon, brave HG mom of two boys and skydiver! Nicola is doing her part to help raise awareness for HG women by taking a huge leap for HG awareness by jumping out of a plane and skydiving. On Saturday, August 16th at Black Knights Parachute Centre, Lancaster UK she will take the plunge to show every HG woman that if you can get through HG, you can do anything. “Jumping out of a plane is easy compared what I endured with my HG pregnancies,” said Lennon.  “I wanted to show my support and awareness for HG women and help out the HER Foundation who was such a great support for me during my pregnancies. This is my way of saying thank you to HER and letting HG moms know that HG gave me a new perspective on life, take nothing for granted and enjoy each day!” Nicola will also be raising funds for her local HG support organization in the UK and HER Foundation sister charity, Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS).

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2nd Annual HER5K was a great success!

Maribel and Chris LaLanne from LaLanne Fitness Crossfit in San Francisco warm up the HER5K particpants (Read the LaLanne’s thoughts on the HER5K here)

For race results go to www.CharmCityRun.com

It was an emotional day, but one that was filled with excitement and hope. On May 31, 2014 over 300 participants and volunteers came to the National Harbor in Washington D.C. to be a part of the day to raise awareness for HG. The weather was perfect and the location beautiful. HG women and their families came from all over the United States and even an international participant! Some of the states represented were California, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Pennslyvania. The day started with a rally speech from Ann Marie King, co-founder of the HER Foundation, (read Ann Marie’s speech).  King then proudly introduced an HG survivor and her husband, Maribel and Chris LaLanne from San Francisco, who own a very successful fitness gym in the Bay area, LaLanne Fitness Crossfit. The couple got the crowd stretching and moving before the race began. “We are so greatful to Maribel and Chris for being here today, they are dedicated to the cause of helping raise awareness for HG and we are so proud to have them as part of our HG awareness volunteer team,” said King. Once the race began everyone was ready, many HG moms showing how they are back to being stronger than ever for the 5K walk/run.

Once the run ended Caitlin Dean,  a trustee for the UK charity and sister charity of HER, Pregnancy Sickness Support, (PSS) was introduced and gave a speech about the international collaboration that would be happening between HER, PSS and Beyond Morning Sickness to truly raise the level of awarenes for HG women worldwide. (read Caitlin’s speech) Awards were given to those runners with the top times in their age groups and then HG women and their children gathered for a great the annual HG sisters picture at the National Harbor. We hope to see everyone again next year!!!

HG and Your Teeth

By Sharon Boyd
Registered Dental Hygenist

dentalpicWhen I attended dental hygiene school we were taught that pregnancy has absolutely no affect on the health of a woman’s teeth. After getting out into private practice I found that my patients constantly told me otherwise. Not yet being a mother myself, women consistently explained that they never had dental problems until they were pregnant, and then they seemed to all come at one time. Dental professionals are always told about the effects that bulimia nervosa and gastrointestinal reflux have on eroding tooth enamel, but we’re taught to think that a vomiting pregnant woman doesn’t affect dental health at all. Then there was hyperemesis gravidarum, aka “HG.” If any pregnant women had problems with their teeth, it was these moms.

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An HG pregnancy – Backwards Baby Weight

By Brynn Quick

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.27 AMI can vividly remember the first time I wanted to eat while I was pregnant. I was about 18 weeks along and had had my PICC line since about week 12. I had lost close to 30 lbs. in the pregnancy thus far, and the most I had been able to eat at any given time was a handful of popcorn or an apple slice. During my first hospitalization of 11 days it took me 72 hours to eat a tiny bowl of dry AppleJacks cereal. But here I was at 18 weeks, lying on my parents’ sofa bed with TPN coursing through my veins, and I DESPERATELY wanted a bite of pizza. Just one bite. I wanted to taste it. My shocked parents and husband quickly ordered a pizza and we all hoped that my “window of opportunity” wouldn’t close before it arrived. When it got there my mom slowly, cautiously brought me a slice. We all knew that nothing I ate would stay down, but I took a bite anyway. And it was the Single. Most. Spectacular. Thing. I. Had. Ever. Eaten. I had never tasted anything so amazing in my life. I started crying before I had even gotten a chance to chew. “Oh my God, it is so good!” I sighed, with tears running down my face. About 4 minutes later I ran to the bathroom to be sick, and when I returned to bed I looked my mom straight in the eye and said, “If I make it through this, and the baby makes it through this, and everything is ok in the end, I swear to you and to any god that is out there – I will NEVER complain about my weight again. Even if I gain 200lbs. after this, I promise I won’t care. I just want to eat again.”

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Zofran Safety

We have received emails expressing concern over the recent article citing possible cardiac complications due to the use of Zofran. However, the risk was stated by the FDA to be in patients given 32 mg of Zofran in a single dose, which is not done in pregnancy or for HG. While safety is not proven for any drug during pregnancy, it appears that any potential risk of Zofran is quite low and needs to be assessed with an understanding of the risk of not using the medication. Read more >>

We’re Turning 10!

At the HER Foundation we are ushering in our 10th anniversary with what we hope will be a fun and inspiring celebration, marked by gratitude for the achievements of the past decade and vision for the future of HG awareness, research, treatment, and support.

Among the highlights:

  • A 10-day social media party on our Facebook page and Twitter handle, October 14th through 23rd.
  • A “10 for HER 10″ Giving Challenge aimed at jumpstarting funding for the next decade of HG help and hope.
  • Our First Annual “Heroes for HG” Honors, to be announced on our website and social media October 22nd.

Please join us in celebrating 10 years of help and hope – and in looking forward together, toward the next decade of advocacy for HG moms.

HER Foundation to attend and be a sponsor of Research Conference this Fall

The HER Foundation is bringing the voices of HG women to a research conference at the University of Pittsburgh in early October. The Biology and Control of Nausea and Vomiting 2013 is targeted to both basic researchers and clinical investigators working in the field of nausea and vomiting. The conference will be useful for clinicians needing up-to-date information about treatments for nausea and vomiting, such as in patients suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

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HER Volunteer raises $11,000 at golf tournament, with special guest speaker, ABC’s local reporter and HG survivor, Doreen Scanlon

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On June 23, 2013, 144 golfers came out for the 19th annual Brayton Point Station Charity Golf Tournament. Brayton Point Station is the largest fossil fuel power plant in New England. Station employees, family, friends and vendors came out to support this years charity, the HER Foundation. Typically a charity is selected because an employee is with the charity or has been impacted by it. The HER Foundation had a special meaning for me this year as my wife Pia is a three time survivor of HG. The tournament committee (Wes Bushika, Mark Huck and Bill Spicer) would like to thank this year’s guest speaker Doreen Scanlon, HG survivor and news anchor with ABC Channel 6 in Providence RI. The committee is excited to present the HER Foundation with an 11 thousand dollar donation!

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HER/UCLA Find Antihistamine Linked to Preterm Birth

ucla-david-geffenOne of the reasons the HER Foundation was created was to fund much needed research on HG. With the help of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine we have funded over $46,000 in research grants. Thanks to all of the HG moms who have participated in our research! Because of you, UCLA has been able to identify medications (antihistamines) and other factors (gestational hypertension, early symptoms) linked to preterm birth and low birthweight babies in hyperemesis pregnancies. See Table 5 for the list of over 35 medications/treatments used compared to pregnancy outcomes and effectiveness. Share this research with your medical providers so you can make informed decisions together on how to treat your HG.

Download the Full Study Here.

AN AMAZING WEEK FOR HG AWARENESS!

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The HER Foundation has been overwhelmed with the response we have received for the 2nd Annual HG Awareness Day (May 15th) evidenced by 400% more visitors to the HER website the past week, as well as the most widespread reach ever on Facebook and Twitter.

We received great support from some of our partners and supporters. We’re grateful to HG moms across the globe who shared powerful personal stories in social media today, and to all who took action to educate and advocate.

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HER Foundation’s favorite article on HG after Duchess Kate Middleton was diagnosed

From the Reporting on Health Member Blog, December 10, 2012

Dear Media: Kate Middleton Does Not Have “Morning Sickness”

The world’s most famous pregnancy brought overnight visibility to a little-known but serious prenatal complication, when Britain’s royal family announced the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospitalization for treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) – a debilitating and even life-threatening condition marked by severe, unrelenting vomiting and/or nausea that can lead to rapid weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration, with potentially dangerous health consequences for both newborn and mother.

Read the full article here.

An interview with HG author, advocate and survivor, Ashli Foshee McCall

chronicles-book-lrgThe HER Foundation and Ashli Foshee McCall are like old friends — they go way back and have been working together to help HG women around the globe. For many years, Ashli has donated her books to the HER Foundation to help us raise money for awareness, education and research. Ashli has just released a new book, “The Chronicles of Nausea.” A diary of her successful battle with HG in her fourth and most difficult pregnancy, “Chronicles” is an inspiring “must read” for all women coping with the disease. The HER Foundation thanks Ashli for her continued support for HG women and the HER Foundation. We recently asked her a few questions about HG and her books.
Purchase any of Ashli’s books here.
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HER Foundation blogs with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) to raise awareness of HG

Healthy Mothers, Healthy BabiesThanks to National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition for inviting the HER Foundation to guest write for their monthly blog to help raise HG awareness! Click on our guest blog below and after reading, please be sure and leave your comments with HMHB to let them know you appreciate their support! We also send happy and healthy birthday wishes today to Duchess Kate Middleton, whose pregnancy recently made global headlines when she was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

HER Foundation forms alliance with CaringBridge to help HG women stay connected to family and friends

Caring BridgeThe HER Foundation has formed an alliance with CaringBridge, a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. CaringBridge services are available online 24/7 to anyone, anywhere at no cost. CaringBridge offers protected online spaces with multiple privacy settings. Personal data is protected and not sold. People don’t see intrusive advertising on CaringBridge sites and planners. Continue reading

Dad-To-Be Competes In Ironman Challenge to Help Raise Awareness for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and Raise Funds for The HER Foundation

brynn-storyMeet Lake Placid Ironman competitor Grant Quick. He has seen first hand what HG does to a woman because his wife, Brynn, has suffered a great deal from HG this year. Brynn is due to give birth to their son by the end of the month and Grant wants to do what he can to raise awareness and funds for The HER Foundation. “The HER Foundation was a huge support to us when Brynn was going through the worst of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.”
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UCLA Receives $46 Thousand Check From the HER Foundation For Groundbreaking HG Research

UCLA checkThe HER (Hyperemesis Education & Research) Foundation proudly presented a check for more than $46 thousand to Dr. Marlena Fejzo, geneticist, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on Friday, September 14th. The donation will fund continued groundbreaking research on a relatively unknown, debilitating pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or HG.

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A letter from Dr. Marlena Fejzo, Harvard PhD, HG research scientist and HG survivor

mfejzoDr. Marlena Fejzo wants to share her story with you about HG and share why she is so dedicated to the cause. She is grateful for the help of the HER Foundation over the past few years in helping fund and recruit participants for her research. Dr. Fejzo is truly one of the leading researchers in the world for HG. Her letter is to all HG women and their families who have endured the challenges of HG in pregnancy and how it has affected their lives.

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Rare Disorder Turns Pregnancy Into Nightmare

video-rare-disorderThanks to Angela and Justin Phelps of the Lansing Michigan area for sharing their story of HG with their local FOX affiliate, WLIX! You both did a great job and have helped raise awareness for HG! We also want to thank Dr. Robert Seiler for his words about HG as well. Raising public awareness is vital to the cause and we truly appreciate your efforts. A special thanks to the reporter, Caroline Vandergriff for mentioning the HER Foundation’s continuous efforts in raising awareness, education and research for HG women and placing our petition campaign on the FOX website. Little Nina is precious and an HG survivor just like her mommy!

2nd Annual HG Awareness Day 2013 to be officially recognized!

world-day-2013bHER has exciting news…..May 15, 2013 will be recognized by Chase’s Calendar of events as the official HG Awareness Day! Chase’s Calendar has been the world’s datebook for more than 50 years. Chase’s Calendar of Events 2013 will be published in September of 2012 and will list May 15th as the official HG Awareness Day! Chase’s Calendar of Events is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference available on special events, worldwide holidays and festivals, civic observances, historic anniversaries, famous birthdays and much more. We have finally made the record books thanks to your support! This is one BIG step for HG awareness worldwide.

A special thanks from the HER Foundation founders….

video-hgdayWe want to thank you for the incredible efforts by HG women and their families around the globe for a truly amazing First Annual HG World Awareness Day! The day was a GREAT success thanks to you! The support we received from women around the globe and their efforts touched our hearts and made our determination even stronger for finding an answer to why HG happens and finding a cure. The notes we have received from women and their families about how the HelpHER.org website helped them get through their pregnancies truly means a lot to us and when we started the website over 8 years ago, we knew women needed a place to find support and know they were not alone in their suffering. We are so glad you found some comfort and support during your pregnancies. Continue reading

NFL wife, Amanda Tynes, joins forces with the HER Foundation to raise awareness for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

tynesAmanda Tynes is a two time survivor of HG and the wife of the NY Giants kicker and SuperBowl Champion, Lawrence Tynes. “I am excited to add my voice and personal story with HG to the HER Foundation’s mission of increasing awareness and procuring funding for education and research. HG is a terrible disease that very few doctors or nurses seem to understand. Pregnant women around the world are suffering every minute of everyday with no answers or help to get them through their pregnancies. HG needs to be researched and studied by the medical community so these women don’t feel alone and helpless to a condition they cannot control. No more lives need to be lost because of the lack of research of this horrific disease” said Tynes. “We are thrilled to have Amanda on board with us to help raise awareness, research and education funding for HG. Amanda’s story is one that many HG women will identify with and we know Amanda’s passion for making a difference for HG women around the world will truly help our efforts,” said Ann Marie King, Co-Founder of the HER Foundation. As part of celebrating the first annual world awareness day on May 15th, this year Amanda and her husband signed the HER Foundation petition asking the United States government to start funding HG research. In the months ahead Amanda will join with founders of the HER Foundation in meeting with government officials and medical associations to discuss HG and its effects on women around the globe.
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Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota signs Executive Proclamation for Hyperemesis Awareness Day, May 15th

daugaardThe HER Foundation thanks Governor Daugaard for proclaiming Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day on May 15th, 2012 for the state of South Dakota. “We want to thank Governor Daugaard for being the first Governor to recognize HG awareness day and we are encouraged by his recognition of the need for awareness for HG women in his state. We hope it will inspire state lawmakers to follow in his footsteps for future Awareness Days. This is a huge step in raising awareness, education and research and we are truly grateful,” said Ann Marie King, Co-Founder of the HER Foundation.
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Congratulations to Mel Burdett for being the top recruiter for our holiday research campaign!

Mel will receive a $200 gift card from Amazon thanks to her recruiting skills! Way to go Mel, thanks to your efforts and that of your friends the HER Foundation and USC/UCLA are closer to reaching thier research goal! We are looking for both HG and non-HG mom’s to be a part of the study, so please email nvpstudy@usc.edu to join, it truly is the most important thing you can do to make a difference for HG moms in the future!