NewsPinellas County


St. Pete mom battling cancer turns to Facebook to find breast milk donations

Jessica Purcell
Posted at 1:38 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 15:59:25-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — "It was the worst day of my life probably," said Jessica Purcell. "Nine weeks pregnant and getting told you have cancer. How can you even be pregnant with cancer?"

Purcell was all of a sudden fighting for two. After finding out she was pregnant with her second child, doctors diagnosed Purcell with breast cancer. She immediately underwent surgery and began rounds of chemotherapy.

"By the grace of God, this guy made it through 12 rounds of chemotherapy with me," said Purcell.

Little Jameson was born a happy and healthy baby in March of 2019.

Purcell's cancer treatment left her without the ability to breastfeed.

"I didn't even have a supply. It completely dried me up," said Purcell. "With my daughter, I was a milk machine."

Purcell says she doesn't qualify for the Mothers' Milk Bank of Florida, but a friend gave her some of her own breast milk. That is when she had the idea she could ask for donations.

Purcell made a Facebook post to share her story and moms shared their milk. Within a day, women across the country shared the post thousands of times. Jessica is in awe with all the mom support.

"It's a lot of work for moms to breast feed. It's blood, sweat, and tears," she said.

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Purcell knows she is not the only one who could use the help. She wants to encourage all women to donate if they can.

"Don't just let your milk go bad - do something with it," said Purcell.

Purcell is still fighting cancer, but now with an army of moms lending a helping hand.

"Just wow. It is such a blessing. We are going to be okay. We are going to get this guy some good mom milk. It's not mine, but it's the next best thing," said Purcell.

If you are in the Tampa Bay area and can donate to Purcell, contact her through Facebook.