Calirornian mum, Nikki Heying, 33, had given birth to her fourth child Malcolm just six weeks before she was rushed back to hospital with pre-eclampsia. But a scan by chance picked up a lump in the new mum’s chest and she was diagnosed with lymphoma as she held her newborn in her arms.
Panicky about how the discovery and treatment of the cancer would affect her vulnerable child who could possibly lose the latch, Nikki confided in her friend, 37-year-old mum-of-eight Bec Nickodem.
Without hesitation, Bec graciously offered to breastfeed the tot twice a week – all while nursing two of her own children and donating milk to other moms in need.
After months of gruelling chemotherapy, Nikki was finally able to breastfeed her own baby herself.
Nikki and Bec are now hoping that sharing their story will prove that breastfeeding is ‘the most natural thing in the world‘ and they’ve celebrated the journey with a photo shoot.
‘I got the phone call from my oncologist and they revealed I’m in remission.
Weeks after my last chemo, it was the middle of the night and Malcolm woke up ready to feed.
When Malcolm latched again, I cried. There was no hesitation – it’s like he never stopped.
Bec and I are as close as ever now and she’s still going to come over.
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world – it’s what we were created to do.
‘The female body is truly incredible. It’s amazing what the female body can do.
‘For example Bec isn’t just nursing her own son, she’s nursing another one of her children,
and she nursed mine and would pump what else she could to donate,’
Bec has also spoken out to applaud her friend’s bravery and determination.
Bec, from Lancaster, California said:
‘Nikki and I found out we were pregnant within the same week.
‘When she was diagnosed with cancer we were discussing how important it was to her that Malcolm continued having breastmilk.
“I offered to donate what I could while feeding my newborn, Xander and my older son, Harrison.See Also
Breastfeeding should be something that friends can do for each other.”
“6 weeks old on the left, 30 weeks old on the right.
It’s been 6 months. Six months since I was allowed to breastfeed my son.
Six months of a hard battle against #CANCER, getting poisoned with chemo that tainted my breastmilk and prevented me from nursing my infant son.
Six months of pumping every few hours and dumping every single ounce of it all down the drain, just so I could keep my supply up, in hopes of eventually being allowed to nurse my baby again.
Six months of having a dear, sweet, generous friend come to my house 1-2 times a week to latch my son, just so he would remember HOW to breastfeed again when I was able.
Well, here we are, I had my last chemo session in January and it’s been 35 days post-chemo.
My breastmilk no longer contains any remnants of chemo in it, and last night I was able to #BREASTFEED MY SON AGAIN!!!! It’s been a long road, but I wanted to share my journey publicly in hopes that it can be shared and might inspire others in some small way. ???? God is GOOD. The power or prayer is REAL.”