I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Cigna Foundation, in partnership with Samahope. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Jacob Preemie

My son’s birth was a birth of complications. Preeclampsia for me, a premature birth and broken arm for Jacob. Even after his birth, I continued to struggle. I was transferred to one of the best hospitals in my state to give birth and I still ended up with complications. My c-section incision got infected and had to be packed for 6 weeks and my blood pressure refused to come down for a while.

Before that, I never gave much thought to what could happen if we didn’t live in a country where I had access to life-saving medical care. I never really thought “what if I can’t have a c-section if I need one?” or “what if there are no qualified doctors to care for my son?” After my difficult delivery and Jacob’s rough start, though, it really dawned on me how much we take for granted. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: my son and I are alive today because we live in a place where adequate medical attention is a given, not a fervent hope or desperately whispered plea to the gods.

Without access to proper medical care, my son and I wouldn't be here today. I want other women to have the same chance I did. Help Samahope and Cigna spread awareness & fund safe births around the world. Together we can save over 10,000 lives! (ad) #GiveHopeWithCigna, #IC

Photo Credit Samahope

In way too many other parts of the world, proper medical attention doesn’t exist without extreme measures and passionate doctors willing to go above and beyond. Doctors like Robert Kalyesubula. Dr. Kalyesubula works in the Nakaseke District, Uganda and has treated over 70,000 patients in 13 years. Doctors like Robert rely on organizations like Samahope to help fund their extraordinary work. Samahope relies on grants from foundations like the Cigna Foundation and people like me and you.

The Cigna Foundation and Samahope are working hard to help improve maternal health and fund safe childbirths around the world, but they need us to get involved too. Samahope is a recipient of the Cigna Foundation World of Difference grant. This important grant is given to organizations that focus on helping people of all walks of life overcome barriers to their health. Barriers like inadequate access to medical care that would allow them to have safe pregnancies and deliveries.

Give Hope with Samahope & The Cigna Foundation

Without access to proper medical care, my son and I wouldn't be here today. I want other women to have the same chance I did. Help Samahope and Cigna spread awareness & fund safe births around the world. Together we can save over 10,000 lives! (ad) #GiveHopeWithCigna, #IC

Photo Credit: Samahope

Did you know that 1 in 14 women in Sierra Leone dies during childbirth? Across the world, 800 women die daily from complications during pregnancy and childbirth that could have been prevented. 2 million women in parts of Africa and Asia suffer from fistula, 100,000 babies are born with clubfoot, and 170,000 children are born with a cleft palate or lip. Up to 24 million children are born with congenital heart defects, and those that do beat the odds and survive end up with access to poor or no medical care. THIS is why Leila Janah created Samahope.

Samahope harnesses the power of crowdfunding to deliver donations right where they’re needed- to doctors and other health care workers around the globe who work directly with woman and children most in need of assistance. The beautiful thing about Samahope is that it allows you to really connect with the doctors and learn all about them, then choose exactly which one you’d like to fund.

I’m passionate about safe birth training, so I’m funding Wangmo Thapa’s initiative to train Nepali nurses in the necessary skills to provide essential medical care during labor and delivery. She only needs $53 to start her next training. I wish I could give it all to her, but Samahope lets me donate what I can afford. On the donation form, I was able to share encouraging words or my reason for donating.

Samahope Thank You

When I completed it, I received a message letting me know that I’ll receive an update from Wangmo! I was also able to share my doctor’s cause on social media with a click of a button. If you have a second, could you give it a retweet to help spread the word about Wangmo’s work? Thanks!

I donated with confidence because Samahope provides each donor with 100% transparency about where their money goes. I was given the option to allocate a portion to support the Samahope organization as a whole, and I got to choose the exact percentage.

Help Samahope Save 10,000 Lives

Without access to proper medical care, my son and I wouldn't be here today. I want other women to have the same chance I did. Help Samahope and Cigna spread awareness & fund safe births around the world. Together we can save over 10,000 lives! (ad) #GiveHopeWithCigna, #IC

Photo Credit: Samahope

Samahope is on a major mission this year, and they won’t rest until they reach their goal. It’s called the 10,000 Lives Campaign, and the goal is to fund enough birth kids for 5,000 moms and 5,000 babies. Here’s the really good news: all it takes is $5 to help! Just $5 can provide a safe birth and protect two lives at once. That money funds the birth kit, which includes sterile tools to enable a Skilled Birth Assistant to protect mom and baby from complications during childbirth.

I know this is getting a bit wordy, but I am just so passionate about making sure that moms and moms-to-be around the world have the same chance we do to give birth safely. I was terrified when I had my emergency c-section. Absolutely terrified. I think even natural, complication-free childbirth is a little scary. I cannot even imagine the terror of  having complications and knowing that there is no help. That a moment that’s supposed to be amazing and beautiful could be the end for you and your baby. We all have the power to help other women have the safe births that we take for granted. So let’s do it!

 Donate $5 to save two lives at once now.  

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