Marea Ryan says the new Mothers Milk Bank will be opened in Banora Point.
Marea Ryan says the new Mothers Milk Bank will be opened in Banora Point.

Milk bank back in business

AFTER being forced to close almost a year ago due to a lack of funding, the Mother's Milk Bank is set to re-open, but this time in Banora Point.

The service, formerly located at Tugun and which has saved countless sick babies, will soon be relocated to a purpose-built building in Banora Point

The Tugun facility, operated by professional midwives and lactation nurses from the John Flynn Hospital, closed late last year after a promised $1 million government grant was left unpaid.

While the exact location of the new facility will not be announced until it is open, the need to provide screened breast milk to feed unwell babies, or to supplement feeding for lactating women who have an illness, has never waned, according to Mother's Milk Bank director Marea Ryan.

“We actually have a mum at the moment who is breastfeeding but needs to have chemotherapy for leukaemia,” she said.

“So we really do need to have the new facility operational by then and find some donations so her baby can still be breastfed while having her necessary treatment.

“We have not been able to keep any supplies because we have been closed for nearly 12 months, but there are plenty of women out there willing to donate their excess milk.”

The Mother's Milk Bank has been given a second lease on life thanks to the fundraising efforts of the local community, in particular retired rugby league commentator and Currumbin IGA store owner George Doniger.

The 68-year-old cycled 1783km from Currumbin to Cairns to raise more than $35,000 for the self-funded facility that is one of only two human breast milk banks in Australia.

Now the Mother's Milk Bank needs to raise about $500,000 to keep its doors open and to buy equipment.

For more information or to donate, visit www.mothersmilkbank.com.au



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