“My husband, Cameron, and I were blessed with five children: Mac, 8, Cillian, 4, and our sweet rainbow baby Sandra, 11 months. We have two other kids, Charlie and Angel, who are no longer with us.
I am starting my 15th year in education as a full-time school counselor. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, cooking, gardening, and canning. I was born and raised in Nebraska, so I am a Husker fan through and through!
I have always been about giving back, especially after the loss of my son, Charlie. When I was in the hospital following my emergency cesarean, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), gasped when she saw how much milk I was producing. She exclaimed I could probably feed the entire NICU and that remark planted the seed within me.
When Sandra was born, I once again found myself with an oversupply. Money was pretty tight with the hospital bills and inflation starting to rise, so I searched for safe ways to donate. Another mom in a Facebook group mentioned Tiny Treasures, so I applied.
This journey has been rewarding in many ways. I love knowing that I can help feed premature babies and have also made so many wonderful connections through our Tiny Treasures Facebook community! The compensation has been a blessing and helped our family stay afloat in the face of rising inflation. We also just paid off one of our credit cards.
Overcoming issues with health and improper flange size has been the biggest challenge of my donation journey. I was never fitted properly, which resulted in tearing, infections, and painful clogs. I also developed thrush. After being tired of constantly pumping in pain, I got fitted for breast shield size and discovered I have elastic nipples. Once I received the care I needed, my pumping journey became a lot easier.
My advice for new donors: Routine is everything! I probably over-do it on the hand washing and sanitizing, but it has helped me pass milk testing.”