‘My dad drinks my breast milk in his coffee’


by Becky Dickinson |
Published on

Self-confessed daddy's girl Jill Turner has gone to unusual lengths to try to help her dad beat cancer

When Jill Turner discovered her beloved dad Fred had been diagnosed with cancer, she was understandably heartbroken.

The 64-year-old had beaten bowel cancer once before, but relapsed in March last year and is now having ongoing chemotherapy.

Desperate to help in any way she could, Jill, 30, who had recently given birth, came across research that had found breast milk may help fight cancer.

Jill pumps in the evening for her dad (Credit: Jill Turner) ©Jill Turner

So the mum-of-one - who'd been breastfeeding her six-month-old son Llewyn - started expressing her milk and adding it into her dad's coffee in a bid to help him beat the disease.

Jill – who lives in Rugby with her partner Kyle, 30, a mechanical engineer, and their son – explains: "When I found out my dad had relapsed I was devastated; I was determined to do anything to help him.

"I came across a Facebook group that had posted an article about the health benefits of breastfeeding.

"A scientist had found a protein in breast milk that can help kill off cancer cells without harming other cells. The research is in its early stages, but I don't see any harm in trying it.

"Now I express milk and give it to Dad in his coffee. He's only been drinking it for a month, so we don't know if it's helping yet. People might think it's strange, but if it gives Dad more time, I'll do whatever it takes."

Jill, Fred and six-month-old Llewyn (Credit: Jill Turner) ©Jill Turner

The first time Jill mixed it into Fred's coffee she added a bit of cow's milk too. "Dad said it tasted bittersweet, but wasn't too bad," she says. "I've since bought a double pump so I can express more milk.

"I breastfeed Llewyn, then express milk at night for Dad. I keep it in the fridge so he can help himself. It lasts for eight days, so I put a sell-by-date on it. I hope he starts having it on his porridge too.

"Mum's supportive of it and my friends think it's a great idea. Dad's treatment is ongoing and we don't know how long he has left. But I'll do everything I can to spend more precious time with him."

Fred says: "I'll do anything to fight cancer. I'll try Jill's breastmilk in porridge, but I wouldn't drink it on its own. I don't feel different yet, but I hope it helps."

Fred and Jill are very close (Credit: Jill Turner) ©Jill Turner

Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director for Patient.co.uk says: "While drinking breast milk won't cause any harm, there is minimal evidence it can cure cancer.

"Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the most effective treatments available and I wouldn't advise anyone to substitute these for breast milk.

"There needs to be much further research into the link between breast milk and cancer. However, drinking it alongside chemotherapy/radiotherapy is unlikely to cause any harm."

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