Special Delivery: New York ‘Milk Riders’ Use Motorcycles to Help Babies in Need
In Westchester County, babies are getting some help from women on motorcycles.
Members of a motorcycle club are using their bikes to help moms in need as part of a special program that is the first of its kind in New York.
“When we had this opportunity to help mothers and babies, we were like, ‘we’ve got to do it,’” Sandra Fleming, of Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club, tells News 4.
It’s not the milk truck, but the “milk riders” who volunteered to drive donated breast milk on their motorcycles to babies in need.
“They delivered milk at midnight in the middle of winter to some of our hospitals,” NY Milk Bank Founder Julie Bouchet-Horwitz said. “They were amazing.”
Dubbed the “milk riders,” the women are part of the Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club. When they roll up to homes on their Harley’s carrying donated breast milk, it is cause for a celebration.
Babies like Viviana are thriving because of the donated milk. She was born by emergency c-section in May with doctors concerned that she may have suffered brain damage. Her weeks in the NICU made it hard for her mom to keep up her milk supply and now she thanks the “village” of people who helped her daughter.
“She does so well because of so many people,” mother Stephanie Noonan said. “We are just so grateful to everyone who’s involved. The women who donate, the bank and the ‘Milk Riders’ who deliver it.”
The donated breast milk is collected, tested and pasturized at the NY Milk Bank in Valhalla – the only milk bank in the state.
Breast milk has benefits for babies, but not every mother is able to produce enough and many parents who adopt children would like them to get this healthy start.
The 1,700 women who donated milk to the milk bank all went through a rigorous screening process. Since the milk bank opened three years ago, officials say it has helped thousands of babies – both in hospitals and at home – stay healthy.
Talk about a special delivery – on two wheels!