A man has started taking his own daughter’s breast milk in a bid to try and help beat cancer.
Fred Whitelaw, 64, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015 and it returned last April.
His daughter, Jill Turner, 30, started expressing milk for him after reading research that breast milk could help kill off cancerous cells.
She gave birth in October to Llewyn and expresses more than she needs so she is able to give some of her excess milk to her father.
Fred said he was hesitant at first, but has reached the point where he believes he’s got nothing to lose.
Jill, from Rugby, Warwickshire, said: ‘I was devastated when I found out about my dad’s diagnosis. I wanted to help him in any way I could and that’s when I started to give him my breast milk.
‘I was researching online when I came across an article for alternative uses for breast milk.
‘Since then my husband, Kyle, 30, has used it on his eczema and we have also used it on Llewyn’s conjunctivitis.
‘But when I mentioned to my family that it has links with cancer they thought I was joking. Never did I think that my dad would agree to drink it.
‘But he too realised he had nothing to lose and thought, “why not try it”.
‘I got myself a double pump and started expressing enough for Dad, but I am always conscious that I need to make sure there is enough for Llewyn first.
‘So far he’s only been drinking it for a month, so we don’t know if it has helped in any way just yet, but he is having more tests done in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see what the results are.
‘Everyone has been really supportive, my mum even bought us a table top fridge that we keep in the kitchen and anything in there is for my dad.
‘Breast milk lasts for eight days so I mark each container with a sell by date to ensure dad knows what he can drink.
‘He doesn’t drink it on its own though. For now, he has it in coffee but I’m hoping he will also have it in his porridge if I can express enough.
‘I just want to do anything that I can to help and I don’t see the problem in giving my dad something that is natural.’
Fred was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015 but despite given the all clear, it returned last April.
Jill added: ‘In September last year my dad was given an operation to try and kill and the cancerous cells. It was really successful, but not all of the cells were destroyed.
‘Doctors thought he would be in hospital for weeks recovering, but he was home within eight days.
‘No matter what he has thrown at him he never gives up, nothing seems to stop him.
‘Since his operation he has been on two lots of chemo as the first type didn’t seem to be working.’
Jill herself is a strong supporter of breastfeeding and is keen to promote the added benefits.
Jill said: ‘A scientist has found a protein in the milk that can help kill off cancer cells without harming other cells.
‘At the moment it’s just trial and error, there isn’t much research available, which is a shame.
‘I know there is a professor in Europe who has been researching the effects but no one has taken her seriously yet. Hopefully she will get the funding she needs to carry it further.
‘I’m not clued up on the portions but I just hope it makes some sort of difference.
‘We will be seeing an oncologist in four weeks’ time who regularly takes my dad’s bloods so it will be interesting to see if there is any change in his levels.’