Mother Fighting Breast Cancer Gets Help Feeding Newborn

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– A mother, battling breast cancer, is getting help feeding her newborn. The Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB) is supplying the family with human donor milk.

Experts agree breast milk is best for babies for the first 6 months of life. Sarah Pearson, now undergoing chemotherapy, wanted the benefits for her newborn, Ava.

(credit: Sarah Pearson)

Little Ava is 8-weeks-old and up four pounds. She is thriving on just breast milk, but it’s not her mother’s.

Sarah Pearson with Ava (credit: CBS)

“I really wanted Ava to start out life with breast milk, if she could,” Pearson told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

But Pearson is fighting breast cancer. She was diagnosed when she was six months pregnant. While Ava grew, her mother was treated with chemotherapy.

(credit: Sarah Pearson)

“Everybody reassured me they’d done their research and these kinds were perfectly safe,” explained Pearson.

Ava was born one week early and perfectly healthy.

Sarah Pearson with Ava (credit: CBS)

“She just was our little miracle,” said her doting mother.

Pearson, 34, breastfed her two older children, Kael and Haddie. Potent chemotherapy drugs ruled it out this time. But the mother of three was determined.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews Sarah Pearson (credit: CBS)

“It just has great stuff in it, it’s easy on their system,” she said about breast milk.

Pearson turned to donated breast milk for her baby girl.

(credit: CBS)

“She took it like a champ, she loved it,” said Pearson.

MMB has provided the Pearson’s with a 2-month supply for free through their Charity Care Program.

“Anything we can do to help others, that’s why we’re here,” said Laraine Lockhart Borman, MMB Director of Outreach.

(credit: CBS)

“Just one less thing in the list of worries or stressors,” said a grateful Pearson.

And just one more way Pearson believes she’s been blessed.

“For going through a hard journey, it’s as good as it can be, so you feel blessed. You feel like you’re being watched over and helped and taken care of,” she said.

Sarah Pearson with Ava (credit: CBS)

Pearson has chemotherapy, surgery and radiation ahead, but she is grateful to her doctors, family and friends and MMB.

The supply of donated breast milk gets low around the holidays, so donations are appreciated.

Sarah Pearson (credit: CBS)

MMB is a nonprofit program of Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. MMB collects, processes and provides human donor milk to babies across the country.

Babies who receive the milk may be premature or have severe illnesses and need human milk to thrive. MMB consistently provides more milk to NICUs than any other nonprofit milk bank in North America and adheres to the strict guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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