A community of Victoria mums has come together to donate breast milk for 6-month-old Hanna, whose is severely allergic to anything other than breast milk.
Hanna’s mum who lives in Langley is a breast cancer survivor, and part of her treatment was a double mastectomy, leaving her unable to produce breast milk.
The milk donor bank charges $5 for every 4oz of milk and will not provide milk for babies over six months of age. Right now Hannah drinks 40oz a day.
That is $2000 a month.
Hanna is quickly approaching that cut off and cannot eat any food or formula at this point, according to family friend Tori Laye.
Hanna was diagnosed with FPIES – (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome), a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Symptoms include profound vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. These symptoms can lead to severe lethargy, change in body temperature and blood pressure.
“We are learning about it as we go, and are waiting to see an allergist. However, this means she cannot have what a normal 6-month-old baby would have: cereals, fruits, veggies, etc. The only thing her body can tolerate without going into shock is breast milk. Something I have no way of giving her,” Aimee, Hanna’s mother explained.
“It breaks my heart that I cannot feed Hanna,” she added.
Aimee, who lives in Langley is a part of a group on Facebook called Milk and Cheerios, where she initially put out a plea for milk in December.
The group jumped into action and found thousands of ounces of breast milk to support Hanna. Unfortunately, that supply ran out last week, and Aimee reached out again.
“The 1000’s of ounces we collected around Christmas is running out. This family is literally out of options, and this baby needs to eat,” Laye told Victoria Buzz.
Laye has known Aimee for about five years and helped with the first donation drive. She now lives in Victoria, and when she saw her friend’s second plea for help, she went back into action, sharing Hanna’s story to a local Victoria mum’s group on Facebook.
“I don’t know many families that can maintain that kind of expense. Right now Hanna is surviving off breast milk that has been donated by amazingly generous perfect strangers around the lower mainland,” Laye said.
Over fifty Victoria mums responded within two hours of the post being shared, volunteering to supply Hanna – a baby they have never met – with breast milk.
Other mums offered their freezers for storage, and to transport the milk to Langley.
The first giant cooler full is going over tonight.
“It is mind blowing what these mums are doing for this baby.”
“Hanna may not know what she is surrounded by – but I do, and so do you! It breaks my heart that I cannot feed Hanna. However my heart is so full from all this milk that’s been donated to Hanna, and the outpour of all that is coming to us in the coming days and weeks,” Aimee writes.
“We are truly forever grateful for this. There are no words to describe how this makes me feel. I am honestly writing this with tears running down my face. Tears of joy, and tears of the unknown. I am not sure how to repay the world for this, but we will,” she adds.