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Jennifer Canvasser
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Jennifer founded an organization called the NEC Society in January, 2014, a year after losing her son, Micah, to necrotizing enterocolitis. She completed her undergraduate studies at U.C.L.A and earned her master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in community organizing from the University of Southern California. Jennifer serves as the Ecology Center’s environmental health organizer. She is an avid runner and loves to be outside with her husband, Noah, Micah’s twin, Zachary, and their family dog, Benjie.

Entries by Jennifer Canvasser

5 Ways to Support a Family Expecting a Rainbow Baby

(68) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 4:49 PM

After struggling with infertility for three years, my husband and I were ecstatic to welcome our twin boys, Micah and Zachary, into our family. Unfortunately, our boys were born three months prematurely and were hospitalized for months before coming home for the first time.

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Hidden Health Hazards and Toxic Truths Unveiled in Sean Penn's Documentary Film

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 5:39 PM

2015-04-15-1429117838-3284779-IMG_1999.JPGI joined the Ecology Center and environmental health movement in 2010, fresh out of graduate school, with a deep enthusiasm for sustainability and healthy living. Never did I imagine how drastically my life would change in the years to come,...

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How We're Celebrating Our Twins' Third Birthday When One of Our Birthday Boys Is No Longer Here

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 5:27 PM

My twin boys, Micah and Zachary, have their third birthday coming up, and like most moms, I'm thinking about what kind of cake to bake and how to celebrate their special day. But, unlike most moms, I'll be celebrating my twins' birthday with only one of my twins in my...

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There's No Strong like Preemie Strong

(4) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 10:55 AM

My twin boys, Micah and Zachary, were born just shy of 28 weeks gestation, each weighing about 1200 grams. They were delivered via emergency c-section and whisked away to fight for their lives. And fight they did.

I was terrified, overwhelmed and physically and emotionally exhausted. But rather quickly, I...

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Food Justice for Babies

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 6:35 PM

In honor of Food Day, October 24.

There's only one day a year that's dedicated just to food. Every October 24 is Food Day, a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainable food. While Food Day strives to inspire us to improve our diets and our food policies,...

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10 Reasons Why Babywearing Rocks

(3) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 11:03 AM

2014-10-07-DSC_9896.JPGBabywearing became part of our family's journey when I was pregnant with our twin boys. I live in a Midwest town -- Ann Arbor -- that has a rocking babywearing community. It didn't take much for my hubby, Noah, and...

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Once My Child, Always My Child

(7) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 6:31 PM

2014-09-26-IMG_8214.jpgIn honor of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

"How many kids do you have?" seems like a benign question. Count your kids and say the number, simple as that. When I'm at the park or...

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When Breast Milk Doesn't Come From Breasts

(24) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 9:34 AM

I dreamed about tandem breastfeeding while I was pregnant with my twins. Before they were even born, I bought a tandem nursing pillow, reached out to La Leche League, and read up on how to build a milk supply for twins. I loved that I would be able...

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10 Things All Parents of Preemies Need to Know

(25) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 2:40 PM

No one plans to become a parent of a fragile infant. When a baby is born prematurely, most parents are woefully unprepared for the journey through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Infants in the NICU are often so fragile that they cannot be held, fed, dressed or bathed. Parents...

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5 Things My Son Is Learning From His Father

(1) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 3:58 PM


Fatherhood is full of ups and downs; it's rarely a smooth ride. Life has thrown my husband, Noah, some of fatherhood's most joyful and tragic experiences: our twin boys, Micah and Zachary, being born three months prematurely, our boys coming home for...

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When Mother's Milk Was All I Had to Give

(6) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 2:19 PM

I've been exclusively pumping breast milk for over two years. Neither of my twins could nurse at birth because they were born incredibly fragile at 27 weeks gestation. I managed to establish a milk supply for twins by relying solely on a breast pump.

Micah and Zachary...

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Warum es so wichtig für mich ist, dass mein Sohn lange Haare hat - auch wenn alle ihn für ein Mädchen halten

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 12:05 PM

Mein zweijähriger Sohn hat lange Haare. Er wird oft für ein kleines Mädchen gehalten. Aber das stört mich nicht. Wenn es das täte, würde ich ihm die Haare schneiden. Seit über einem Jahr drängen mich die Menschen dazu, Zacharys Haare zu schneiden. Sie machen Witze. Sie sticheln. Sie verurteilen. Sie...

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'Why Is His Hair So Long?'

(41) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 3:22 PM

My 2-year-old son has long hair. He is often mistaken for a little girl. This does not bother me. If it did, I would cut his hair. For over a year, many people have urged me to cut Zachary's hair. They make jokes. They tease. They judge. They push. That's...

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Blood Donors and Breast Milk Donors: Lifesavers

(12) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 2:30 PM

My son Micah had a long, complicated hospitalization, during which he received 211 units of blood. That is an extraordinary amount of blood, especially for an infant over the course of just 11 months. I am forever indebted to the generous blood donors who saved and...

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Your Life Is the Lab: Toxic Chemicals in 5 Unexpected Places

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 12:21 PM

2014-03-26-IMG_8033.jpgWhen your child has a chronic health condition that threatens his life and well-being, you gain a sharp perspective on what's important in life. You live fully, deeply, in the moment. You understand that there's nothing more important than the health...

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10 Incredible Gifts for NICU Families

(12) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 12:56 PM

My twins, Micah and Zachary, were born three months prematurely. They spent 91 terrifying days in the NICU, where they each nearly lost their lives. I am not exaggerating when I say that most of our 91 days in the NICU felt like hell. During this time, I did not...

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Remembering Micah's Smiles: How I've Learned to Live Without My Son

(12) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 4:50 PM

When I married my best friend, Noah, we were young, healthy and excited to start a family. We expected our family-building journey to be simple. But we struggled with infertility.

Three years later, our miracle babies found us. We were ecstatic to have twin boys on the way. We named...

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