Donor profile: Heather's Story
I was expecting a baby at the end of 2013. I started producing colostrum very early and was easily able to hand express while pregnant. My doula helped organize a liquid gold gala in my city to discuss the milk bank and raise money and awareness while I was pregnant. I thought I would make a good donor. I was already a blood donor so this seemed like an easy transition.
When my daughter was born in early January of 2014 I was ready to start donating! I quickly filled out my paperwork and talked to my doctor who signed off on me being a donor. I would pump once or twice a day for donation. It didn't take long to send off my first batch of milk to the milk bank. I was so pleased. We continued to pump for a year, and aside from my short stay in the hospital for an emergency gallbladder removal (in June of 2014) the milk for donation kept flowing. I took a photo every time we dropped off a donation.
As the one year mark was creeping up I knew that I wanted to do more after my time as a donor was finished. I set out to raise money and started a fundraiser asking people to match my milk donation to dollars. In total I donated just shy of 1000 ounces of milk for the milk bank and raised over $1000 for donations. I drove up to Calgary to deliver the funds and got to see the milk bank in person with my daughter. I got to talk to people who processed the milk and was so pleased to hear that they recognized my initials from the bottles of milk.
I loved being a donor, it was something so special I was able to do to help families in need. I even got a tattoo that includes a fruit tree behind a nursing mother to symbolize the milk that was shared to so many babies. Thank you to all the donors and workers at the milk bank helping those most fragile babies get the best start possible!