James’s Story

James was born with a rare genetic disorder, Goldenhar Syndrome, which affects the heart, spine, kidneys, ears/hearing, jaw, face, hands, eyes, and throat. While his parents experienced the "ordinary" whirlwind that comes with a new baby, they were also making frequent trips to a children's hospital—receiving increasingly alarming news with every visit.

“With a laundry list of health challenges—many directly related to feeding and digestion—I knew James was a medically “needy” baby, but I also knew my husband and I likely couldn’t afford donor milk. That’s when we learned about the milk bank’s Charitable Care Program, where we could get milk at a price we could afford.

Supported by their son’s physician who wrote the prescription, the family immediately began receiving James’ “medicine”—donor human milk. After starting on donor milk, James’s reflux and sleep apnea improved, and his weight gain made an upcoming spine surgery less risky for him.

“The first time I got a box of milk, I cried as I put it in our freezer. It's a wonderful blessing to be able to receive such a gift. It's been one of the only things I felt like I could do to help my son."