Every day, regular people morph into unexpected heroes. But there are some feats of heroism that only a mom can do. After Palm Springs officer Lesley Zerebny was killed in the line of duty just days after returning from maternity leave in October, other women sprang into action to help her four-month-old daughter, Cora.
Responding to a domestic disturbance call, Zerebny and her partner Jose "Gil" Vega were shot to death with an AR-15 assault rifle and armor-piercing ammunition while trying to communicate with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home. The shooter had a history of violence and was arrested after a 12-hour standoff with police. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other crimes, and could face the death penalty.
Vega was a 35-year veteran of the department—and a 63-year-old father of eight—who was planning to retire in December. Zerebny, whose father is also a police officer, had been with the department for a little more than a year and a half. Needless to say, the community mourned the loss of the two officers deeply. Thousands of police officers attended the memorial service held for their fallen colleagues.
After hearing news of Zenebny's death and the infant she left behind, a group of moms wanted to help. A family member in the Monterey area put out a call for prayers on Facebook, but that quickly morphed into something much bigger.
Women began donating breast milk. In a very short time, they had amassed more than 500 ounces of breast milk that has since been delivered to the family. The milk will now be screened and tested and, if estimates are correct, could last Cora more than a month.
It's such a special gift for a family in so much pain. The Palm Springs Police are also taking donations of formula locally at 200 S. Civic, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, and a donation fund has been set up through the Palm Springs Police Officers Association.