Shannon & Nora

"My journey for donation started 5 years ago when I had a stillborn daughter at 30 weeks. I had thought about donating my milk in my daughter's memory at the time, but in my grief after her birth I couldn’t handle it emotionally. I knew that one day I would donate milk in her memory, knowing that it would save precious little ones going through the fight of their lives and provide families with the ability to take their little ones home healthy from the NICU.

Fast forward a couple of babies later to when I had my daughter Nora at 34 weeks in 2017. Since we live in northern Alberta any babies born at this gestation (or earlier) are to be delivered (when possible) at larger hospitals, so after my water broke I got airlifted to Calgary to deliver my baby. She was born at the Foothills Hospital where we stayed for a couple of days, but I desperately wanted to be closer to home so we pushed for a transfer to Edmonton where we had family for support. During Nora's stay in the NICU, I pumped frequently and breastfed as much as Nora would tolerate, topping her up with my milk through a tube.

When we went home I had so much milk stockpiled that we had to bring a large Coleman cooler to pack it in for the long trek home. At discharge we were a fully established breastfeeding duo and I knew I would never use or need all of my stockpiled milk so after speaking to a nurse in the NICU we decided to start the process for donation.  I was able to donate 11.5 litres of milk to NorthernStar and I am so grateful to be able to help all those little babies and families in need."