The Allo Hope Foundation is a patient advocacy organization driven by patients and centered around patients and their families. This is why our patient advisory board (“PAB”) plays such a crucial role in our foundation as we try to live out our mission. The PAB consists of women who have been personally affected by maternal alloimmunization and HDFN. These women are active in the alloimmunization community and care deeply about other families facing the disease. The members of the PAB use their own experience and knowledge of the disease to help us identify and meet the most pressing needs in the patient community and help us ensure that the patient perspective is represented in all we do. We are very thankful for our PAB members and their contributions.
Allison was diagnosed with anti-Kell antibodies during her second pregnancy when she went for her initial prenatal blood work. Allison says, “It was incredibly unsettling to have a nurse respond “I don’t know” when I asked if my baby was going to be okay. I found Bethany’s blog that day and that was my primary source of information throughout that pregnancy.” Allison’s second alloimmunized pregnancy required 5 intrauterine transfusions and an additional post-birth transfusion. During her last pregnancy, Allison found out that she has a second antibody, which has yet to be identified. Allison and her husband Alberto currently have 3 beautiful children - 2 sons and a daughter. Allison has been active for years in various support groups for alloimmunized women. Recently she helped spur efforts to translate introductory information about alloimmunization into other languages. These resources are used to help spouses and family members understand what is happening during and after pregnancy. Allison received her degree in Spanish from Augsburg University, and currently runs her own financial services firm where she does bookkeeping, AR/AP, payroll, and more for small businesses. When she isn’t working, Allison enjoys watching movies, going bowling with family and friends, and gardening.
Jessica is a native of Denver, Colorado. In February of 2019, she and her husband Jesse were overjoyed to learn that she was pregnant with their second child. Because her first pregnancy had been relatively normal, and she and Jesse had the same blood type, they were surprised to learn that her routine blood work came back positive for anti-Kell antibodies. Her husband was immediately sent for testing which confirmed that he was heterozygous for the Kell antigen. With guidance from other moms and a wonderful maternal fetal medicine team, their son Wyatt was born in September 2019. After 3 IUTs and 2 post birth transfusions, he is now a thriving, healthy baby. Jessica is active in peer-to-peer support group, and shares her story with friends, family, and healthcare providers - many of which have never had an anti-Kell patient before. Jessica graduated from Regis University with a degree in Business Administration. She currently works for the City and County of Denver. In her spare time, you may find Jessica and her family visiting museums, zoos, and traveling.
In Jody’s third pregnancy, she learned that she had developed anti-D and anti-C antibodies. Weekly ultrasounds meant that this was a pregnancy unlike any of her previous ones. After giving birth to her son Casen at 38 weeks, blood work revealed that he was affected by the antibodies. This led to a 10 day NICU stay with IVIG, intensive phototherapy, and a post-birth transfusion. After Casen’s first birthday, Jody and her husband John began trying to grow their family. After losing their son Owen at 13w4d to causes unrelated to the antibodies, Jody became pregnant again. Jody says, “We were so excited to be expecting our rainbow baby boy. However our journey with Mack got serious very quickly when MoM were already high at 16 weeks. Mack had his first transfusion at 17 weeks and 4 days. He had two more successful transfusions over the next 2 weeks. Sadly, we lost our sweet Mack just shy of 20 weeks when I went into preterm labor caused by chorioamnionitis—an infection contracted from one of the transfusions.” After losing Mack, Jody helped start a fundraiser to provide a Cuddle Cot for her hospital. Jody uses her experiences to help educate friends, family, and women in peer-to-peer support groups about antibodies and HDFN. Jody earned a degree in Nursing from Colby Community College, and works as a Registered Nurse. Jody enjoys spending her down time crafting and attending BBQ competitions with her family.
Molly became aware of her anti-S and anti-E antibodies during her most recent pregnancy. During an evaluation for early pregnancy bleeding, her weak-D antigen status was also identified, and she received her first dose of RhoGAM after not having received treatment in her previous pregnancies. In learning about her condition, she became her own advocate for appropriate prenatal and postpartum care and was fortunate enough to welcome her second child who required no interventions. Molly and her husband Conner have two sons, Ronan (born March 2017) and Hayes (born December 2018). Thanks to the support she has received from her peers in the Allo Hope Organization and the knowledge of skilled providers, Molly and Conner plan to add to their family in the future. Molly received her degree in Biology and Sociology from Wake Forest University. When she is not chasing children, baking, crafting, and being an active member in the foundation, Molly enjoys her career at Venebio Group, LLC where she participates in life sciences consulting including scientific writing, drug development and health informatics.