Amena and Brandon Mebane welcomed their daughter Makenna to the world on November 12, 2018. Makenna was born at 35 weeks gestation with a genetic condition and heart defect. When Makenna was just eight days old, she developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating intestinal disease. She underwent surgery, recovered well, and her family was hopeful that Makenna would overcome her battle with NEC.
Tragically, the complications of NEC were too much for Makenna’s little body. Amena and Brandon lost their baby girl to NEC when she was just 7.5 weeks old. Makenna loved to cuddle with her mommy and have her feet tickled by her daddy. Makenna would grasp her big sister’s finger, and she loved to hear her toddler brother say “baby Makenna.”
In the days, weeks, and months after Makenna’s passing, the Mebane family held tight to each other and searched for ways to honor their precious daughter. Makenna inspired the Mebane family to give back to babies and families just like theirs. They are committed to helping prevent other families from experiencing the overwhelming heartache caused by NEC. To honor Makenna and help other babies just like her, Amena donated Makenna’s breastmilk to the Mother’s Milk Bank in Colorado, a nonprofit milk bank dedicated to providing pasteurized donor milk to medically fragile babies in need. Mothers milk is one of the most effective ways to help prevent NEC.
To further honor their daughter, Amena Mebane joined the NEC Society’s Board of Directors. Given Amena’s professional expertise and personal life experiences, she has become a critical member of the NEC Society’s team and fundamental to the organization’s vision.
The NEC Society is profoundly grateful to the Mebane family for honoring their beautiful daughter in such an impactful and meaningful way.
The NEC Society’s Human Milk Webinar Series was dedicated to Makenna and her family. The slides, resources, and recordings from the webinars are available here.
The NEC Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building a more just, equitable world without necrotizing enterocolitis. To learn more, please visit NECsociety.org