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Davis, CA – Mother-daughter duo Jennifer Canvasser and Leslie Napolitano have published Forever Our Little One, a storybook for bereaved families. Jennifer is the executive director of the Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Society, which she founded after her son Micah tragically died from complications of the disease. Leslie is an artist who helped care for her grandson Micah during his time in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Micah loved to read with his family during his time here on Earth. Jennifer wrote Forever Our Little One for families who hold a little one in their hearts, and tragically no longer in their arms. Forever Our Little One’s illustrations are created by Leslie and inspired by Micah’s smiles.
October is Infant Loss Awareness Month and a time to bring attention to the lifelong trauma and grief of child loss. Canvasser shares, “My son Micah died from NEC just before his first birthday, and the profound devastation of child loss is endless. Through my family’s support, I have found the peace and strength I need to carry Micah’s smile in my heart every moment of every day.”
Forever Our Little One is inspired by the family’s resolve to keep Micah’s smile in their lives and share Micah’s light with the world. The storybook features a bear family, and guides readers through joy, uncertainty, anguish, boundless love, and peace. The picture book is written for families navigating the tragic loss of their own little ones. Children can find comfort in Forever Our Little One after the loss of anyone they love.
Canvasser notes, “I have found few children’s books to read with the little ones in my arms, that reflect our family’s experience of losing Micah and working to keep his light in our lives. I wrote Forever Our Little One to help comfort bereaved families and remind them their little one is with them, always. I wish children didn’t need a book like this, but since they do, it is an honor and privilege to help provide some comfort and validation.”
Forever Our Little One is already inspiring bereaved families to share their little one’s story and create ways to feel connected with the little ones who they hold in their hearts. Forever Our Little One is available at NEC Society’s shop, and all proceeds benefit the NEC Society.
The NEC Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building a world without necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a devastating intestinal disease that primarily affects premature and medically fragile infants during their first weeks and months of life. The NEC Society brings together patient-families, clinicians, and scientists to advance NEC research.
Learn more at NECsociety.org