Once in a while, a story comes along that touches our heart in more ways than one. This is one of those stories.
Last week, the The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Mothers Give for One Who Can’t,” that emotionally tugs at anyone who reads it. Michal Lura Friedman was an expectant mom, who at 44 years old gave birth to a healthy set of twins this past November. Only four hours after bringing Reverie and Jackson into this world, she unexpectedly passed away after a routine C-section. Shock swathed the family and new father Jay Snyder was now solely responsible for two little lives.
But amid heartache and the struggle to overcome the unimaginable, is a story of hope and faith that’s made possible by the kind actions of a few very giving strangers — neighbors, friends of friends, the online mom community. Since the twins’ birth, other moms have given back to Jay something he can’t give, and something his late wife would have loved to: breast milk.
For three months now, and hopefully for about three months more, a network of moms will pump and donate their own milk for Jay’s babies; at three months, they drink breast milk 80% of the time, and the rest is supplemented with formula at night. As the article states, milk drop-offs take place in a variety of convenient locations (including parking garages and street corners), in styrofoam coolers filled with plastic bags labeled by date, ounce, name and contact information of the donor.
Jessica Provenz coordinates the drive:
“It’s such a tragedy that it just hit me the way I’m sure it hits most people,” said Jessica Provenz, a New Jersey playwright who is coordinating the drive. “So I thought, ‘What can I do?’”
She added: “If I could have given them tons of money, I certainly would have, but falling short of that I thought, ‘Well, I have a 6-month-old son, and I have breast milk. I can give them my milk.”
Jay’s reaction to all of this goodwill:
“Michal had been so clear about that being an important element for her,” said Mr. Snyder, a 44-year-old voiceover actor, sitting in a Starbucks this week. “I might have made the choice to just simplify my life….A lot of people might also counter-argue, saying, ‘Well, you’re potentially taking a risk taking donations from a number of people.’ But I think Jessica’s been great about making sure that the women that are donating are women that we trust, whose health is good.”
He goes on to say…
“I think that’s another thing about Michal’s story,” he added. “You really don’t have to know who she was to feel some compassion, because if you understand how hard she fought and how much she wanted these children, the injustice of her being the one person to be denied that joy is enraging.”
To learn more about the Snyder twins, and to help or contribute to their cause, visit the Snyder Twins website. Every little bit helps.