A 40-year-old woman, Helen Fitzsimmons, has revealed how she gave her terminally ill dad, Arthur Eastmond her breast milk when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.
The mother of two claimed the unusual method helped prolong the life of Arthur, who was already suffering with myeloma cancer when prostate cancer also struck.
Helen claims the milk helped her retired blacksmith father prolong his life by a year.
“The first time dad tasted my milk from a glass he drank it down in one go. He looked at me and smiled, then said, ‘This tastes fine’.
“I know there are some people who may find this all a little strange but when someone you love is suffering you would do anything to help them.
“I’d found a way to help my dad and I took it. It gave him hope and he lived 16 months after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“That was a year longer than we expected after that and I’m sure it was my breast milk that helped.”
Helen decided to go ahead with the method after reading research about the benefits of breast milk.
She had first approached her mother with the idea after reading research that suggested breast milk aided the immune system and contained properties that can assist in the killing of cancerous cells.
And when Helen – who was breastfeeding one-year-old son Cassius – brought the unorthodox method up with her late dad, the retired blacksmith, 73, shrugged: “Anything is worth a go.”
“It wasn’t something I decided on a whim. There was clear medical evidence that giving dad my breast milk may help him.
“Cassius was only a year old and I was still feeding him so what harm could it do? I started expressing and freezing, then taking monthly supplies down to my dad in Devon.”
Remarkably, the methods appeared to be working when doctors told the family that Arthur’s protein levels had stopped rising – a side effect of the myeloma cancer, which attacks a sufferer’s bone marrow.