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Breastfeeding

Mothers Donate Over 500 Oz. of Breast Milk for Newborn of Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

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Elise Amendola/AP

Mothers have banded together to donate over 500 oz. of breast milk to feed baby Cora, the 4-month-old daughter of Palm Springs police officer Lesley Zerebny, who was one of two police officers shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday.

KTVU newscaster Claudine Wong shared photos a friend had sent her of large coolers packed with the bags of breast milk Tuesday.

“In this family … no one fights alone,” Wong wrote on Facebook. “It’s amazing what people do when they find out there is a need and find out that they can help.”

Zerebny, 27, had just returned to work after maternity leave when she and officer Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega were shot responding to a call about a “family disturbance,” according to Palm Springs, Calif. police. A suspect with a criminal record was arrested Sunday morning for the crime.

Lesley Zerebny (Palm Springs Police Department via AP)
Lesley Zerebny

One of Zerebny’s family members posted on social media after her death requesting prayers, when a woman named Ashley asked if donated breast milk would help. By Monday night, barely 24 hours later, the 500 oz. of breast milk were delivered for baby Cora.

“It’s something only mothers can do for Officer Zerebny,” Wong writes.

RELATED VIDEO: Two Officers Shot and Killed in Palm Springs Standoff

All of the breast milk will be screened and tested before it goes to Cora, but it’s estimate to feed her for over a month.

“But this is not about breast milk or formula, it’s about the human heart and about the desire and the capacity of people to give,” Wong says. “Two officers lost their lives on Saturday … responding to a call. Officer Zerebny and Veteran officer Jose Vega. Today in Monterey moms also responded to a call for help.”

The Palm Springs Police Officers’ Association also set up a site to donate to Zerebny and Vega’s families, found here.