The Allo Hope Foundation was founded in 2019 by Bethany Weathersby, but the true origin of the Foundation goes back to 2013, beginning with a baby girl named Lucy. Bethany was nine weeks pregnant with her third child when she went in for her first ultrasound. She was shocked to find out that the healthy baby she was carrying was at risk of developing a rare blood disorder known as hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). Bethany was informed that she had developed maternal alloimmunization. Her first trimester antibody screen came back positive for anti-Kell antibodies with a titer of 1,024. Despite being referred to a large teaching hospital and receiving care from maternal fetal medicine specialists, Bethany’s pregnancy was poorly managed and Lucy died just shy of 20 weeks gestation from severe anemia and fetal hydrops. Josh and Bethany were advised not to attempt another pregnancy. They were devastated by the loss of their only daughter and the loss of the large family they had envisioned for themselves.
Determined to continue their family, Bethany did extensive research to learn about HDFN and partnered with two maternal-fetal medicine specialists out of state who provided proactive treatment and supported her throughout her next three pregnancies. All three babies are now healthy and thriving, and Josh and Bethany were able to complete their family. The physical presence of her three children who survived HDFN, and the absence of her first daughter are daily reminders of the difference education and awareness can make for families facing this disease.
Bethany launched a personal blog detailing her pregnancies and providing otherwise difficult to access information for families with maternal alloimmunization causing HDFN. Unexpectedly, and likely a result of a lack of patient support elsewhere, alloimmunized women and their families began contacting Bethany in increasing numbers seeking information and support during their pregnancies. After noticing a glaring gap in support and resources for this patient base, Bethany launched The Allo Hope Foundation. The Foundation aims to meet the needs of these patients on a global scale and to provide the information and support that is so desperately needed by this patient community.
The Medical Advisory Board now includes the two doctors who saved her children’s lives and several other world experts in treating this nuanced and rare disease. AHF’s Patient Advisory Board, composed of alloimmunized mothers who have experienced the full spectrum of maternal alloimmunization and HDFN, actively guides the organization’s trajectory.
The Allo Hope Foundation is the longest-running 501(c)3 organization founded to offer resources and support geared specifically towards alloimmunized women and HDFN patients. Our mission is to prevent any harm, stillbirth or infant death caused by Alloimmunization (also called Isoimmunization) and Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (HDFN). We counsel thousands of affected women, develop and share educational materials, promote disease awareness and advocacy, conduct patient-centered research initiatives to improve outcomes, and launch international initiatives to provide care and preventative treatments to underserved countries. The Allo Hope Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit. AHF maintains complete financial transparency, and all donations to AHF are tax-deductible.