Kata Carter was heartbroken when, just three months after delivering her third child, Rosie, she was told she had a rare form of breast cancer. The cancer was aggressive, and she would have to stop breastfeeding. She’d breastfed her first two children, and she’d had her heart set on Rosie getting the nutritional benefit of breastmilk. But instead, Kata found herself scheduling surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
“It was kind of giant shock to me and your mind is spinning with everything else, and on top of that, how am I going to feed my baby?” she told 13 WTHR News.
But neonatal nurses and new moms Katie Hanover and Abby Black heard about Kata through a lactation specialist. Katie had received donated breast milk from Abby when her daughter was born premature, but by the time she heard about Kata, Katie was producing enough milk for twins. She jumped at the chance of helping another mom. “I knew the need of wanting your child to have that breast milk nutrition,” she said. Katie estimates she dropped off about 600 ounces of milk the day after hearing about Kata.
Kata was amazed. “Just to have that amount of milk coming in was amazing. It was the first time I thought, ‘Well, maybe she [Rosie] could be breastfed,'” she said.
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Both Katie and Abby donated breast milk to Kata to help little Rosie grow. “It just goes to show it takes a village to raise a baby. It’s the least we could do to help each other,” Abby said.
Kata says she’ll be forever grateful to Katie and Abby, and to the other women who donated breast milk, for helping her and Rosie in a time of need. “I can’t really describe what it means, they helped Rosie grow… and I’m just so thankful for their generosity,” Kata said.
Kata has now undergone surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Her next step will be to begin targeted therapy, and her prognosis is hopeful. She’s looking forward to spending many more happy years with her three happy and healthy children.