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Cancer-Stricken New Mom Gets Donated Breast Milk

Bottles of breast milk in refrigerator
Photograph by Getty Images/Image Source

When you’re a new mom, it’s common to get some nice gifts for your baby: clothes, toys, maybe even a certificate to a store that sells diapers if you’re lucky. But a Vancouver mom is getting a whole lot more than that for her little one—thousands of ounces of breast milk.

Aimee Taylor is a health care worker, so she knows how beneficial it is for babies to nurse. “I always said I would breast-feed for a year,” she told The Montreal Gazette. Yet, Taylor, now the mother of a 5-month-old daughter named Alexa, can’t follow her plan: She’s been diagnosed with colon cancer and recently underwent emergency surgery for it. Soon, she’ll also begin chemotherapy: “I’ll have to breast-feed [Alexa] for the last time. That’ll be heartbreaking,” she says.

However, this story has an uplifting twist, thanks to Taylor’s friend Margo Tafts. The two moms-to-be first met in prenatal classes and also had the same midwife. Moved by Taylor’s plight, Tafts has taken up a breastmilk collection for Alexa, spreading the word via social media.

So far, Tafts says, the help has been amazing. “I don’t know whether it’s the heart-wrenching story of a cancer diagnosis for a mother with a 5-month-old, but people have really responded,” she says. “The support has been really overwhelming.” Already, she’s a quarter of the way toward her goal—5,880 ounces of breast milk to be collected and stored. It should be enough to see Alexa through to her first birthday.

Tafts kicked off the drive by donating her own frozen supply of milk she’d pumped for her own daughter, Pearl.

Says Taylor: “Alexa was a long time in the making. Before, our biggest issues were not sleeping through the night, and teething. That just seems so small now. Thankfully, we’ve got amazing friends and family who have been really incredible.”

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