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Journey into the world of hyperemesis gravidarum...
31May 14

International Collaboration at the HER 5K

Hyperemesis Education and Research HER 5K run 2014 Ann Marie King, Kimber MacGibbon, Lyle Brooks, Caitlin Dean UK hyperemesis gravidarum advocate, Natalie Mitchell

Today I attended the HER Foundation 5k run (well, walk in our case) in Washington DC to raise funds and awareness over the pond and to further the international collaboration between the UK and USA charities.

My husband, children and I got to meet so many sufferers from all around the United States as women and their families travelled far and wide to attend. Over 300 people ran the race and it was exciting to see the public asking questions and hearing about hyperemesis gravidarum, sometimes for the first time.

Meeting Kimber for the first time was so exciting and we sat up sipping vino the night before the race setting the HG world to rights, comparing international theories and discussing the future of research and care internationally.

I was asked to give a speech at the race. Here is what I said:

I am so honoured to be here representing not just Pregnancy Sickness Support but all of our UK volunteers and sufferers. Thank you so much for having me. Ann Marie and Jeremy have welcomed us into their home and we are truly grateful.

We, here today, we all know about hyperemesis and we all know about the suffering, misery and isolation the condition causes. But it's not very often we discuss all the great stuff that can come from being an HG Survivor... You see, I wouldn't be here with all you incredible, empowering women, partners and children if I hadn't suffered. I would never have met Ann Marie, Jeremy and Kimber... the people I have to thank for my children and my constant inspiration. It is thanks to hyperemesis that I've found strength and wisdom in suffering and been empowered to speak out for woman around the world whose own voices are muted by their unsupportive doctors, employers and relatives.

It's thanks to HG that I've learned to write and orate. I've even written a book – which I'm pretty sure defies every teacher I had in school who labelled me lazy when I was diagnosed dyslexic – It's thanks to HG that I've done that. Nothing else would have instilled in me such a passion and determination and nothing else would have affected me so much to know that's what I had to do.

And I would like to take a moment to tell you about how much all the hard work that the HER Foundation and PSS are putting in is paying off. The fruits of our labours are ripening.

The world is changing. The Hyperemesis Improvement Movement is making in roads now. Care is improving, awareness is growing, bad practice is becoming less acceptable, research is increasing. But most of all support for sufferers is growing. No longer do women have to battle all alone. Thanks to the volunteers of the HER Foundation, Beyond Morning Sickness and Pregnancy Sickness Support, when a women finds herself floored by HG she can now find us. She can contact a volunteer and she is no longer alone. It is thanks to the hard work of these charities that more and more women and their babies are surviving HG.

And there is a snowball effect happening with this movement. I for one, along with the HER Founders, am determined to keep the momentum going. My inspiration is right here, our daughters, my daughter, Orla. I am determined that if she chooses to have children, 20 or so years from now, she will NOT suffer the way we have. Regardless of a cure for HG, which may or may not be available by then, she will not suffer as much as I did because awareness, care and support will be better. I may never be able to cure hyperemesis gravidarum completely but I CAN cure the isolation, the lack of awareness that causes cruel comments, loss of employment and mental suffering. Through education I CAN CURE many of the worst symptoms of HG. I can't do it single handedly, but I don't need to... Through the international collaboration of the HER Foundation, PSS and Beyond Morning Sickness we are ALL working to cure these symptoms, and slowly but surely we are doing it. Hyperemesis is likely to always be around – but in our lifetimes the unnecessary suffering women experience will become extinct.”

You can watch the speech on you tube also:

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Fab speech Caitlin! Although I wasn't a sufferer, my sis in law was, and I still feel bad now that at the time (9 years ago) I thought she was "over egging it" and she didn't really need to be hospitalised for 'a bit of morning sickness!!' It great you are raising awareness for such a horrific secret illness! Xxx
Helen mansutti, 1st June 2014

Spewing Mummy replies...

Hey Helen, thanks for your honest comment... If I hadn't suffered myself I'd totally have though the same but now apply the experience of HG to other "secret" illnesses. It's brilliant to know that we are managing to raise awareness in the non-suffering public! xxx

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum - The Definitive Guide by Caitlin Dean

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Hoe to be an HG Hero by Caitlin Dean

About Me

I am mother of three beautiful children and wife to a fantastic and supportive husband. I am a nurse, a farmer and a trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support. I love working hard and spending time with my kids.

About this blog

Information and support for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. Views are my own and do not represent those of any other organisation. Information provided here should not be a substitute for medical advice. My aim is to raise awareness and encourage sufferers to know they are not alone.

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MAD Blog Awards UK 2015