INDIANAPOLIS — In 2016 Mary Catharine Grau experienced the preterm birth of her son Christopher, an experience close to 12 percent of mothers go through in Marion County.
On Thursday, May 9, Grau will share her family's NICU experience with their now-bereaved son, Christopher – who was born at 32 weeks and lived for four months - at The Milk Bank's fundraising breakfast in Indianapolis.
After Christopher's passing, Grau donated her breast milk to The Milk Bank because she understood how critical the substance is for tiny babies. She also gives financially on the anniversary of Christopher's death every year.
The Milk Bank's second-annual fundraising breakfast, Little Babies Big Dreams, supports the organization's initiatives to provide pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) to fragile and premature infants across the Midwest.
One out of 10 babies is born prematurely, and the Marion County preterm birth rate is 11.5 percent. According to The Milk Bank, research shows that breast milk helps fight infections and provides essential nutrients for preterm babies.
Some moms are unable to breastfeed their premature babies because they're either waiting on their milk to come in or have other medical complications, which is where The Milk Bank comes in.
"These little babies need that nourishment; it feels like love," Grau said. "It feels like, when you breastfeed your baby, 'I'm making this for you.' If I can't, it's wonderful that someone else can."
There is no charge to attend the event, though reservations are requested at themilkbank.org/lbbd. Attendees will be asked to make a financial donation to The Milk Bank.
Little Babies Big Dreams
Thursday, May 9
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 6050 North Meridian Street.