Five-month-old baby behind viral ‘bucket list’ dies

Avery Canahuati, the five-month-old girl who captured millions of hearts worldwide with her inspirational “bucket list” has died.

Diagnosed with a very rare form of disease called Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), doctors gave Avery 18 months to live.

But Avery passed away on Monday after suffering complications related to SMA.

The blog "Avery’s Bucket List", created late last month on April 26, chronicled the baby’s daily life and the items on her bucket list -- a to-do list of activities before one’s death.

Usually written by her father Mike -- but penned in Avery’s voice -- the blog has gone viral with millions of page views.

Some of the items on her heart-wrenching bucket list were to “Open a birthday gift from a stranger” and “Build something with my daddy”.

The latest items checked off her list were “Not let SMA take my smile away” and “Take one last breath, and then take one more before I go”.

On Tuesday, Mike wrote, “Avery’s passing this quickly came as a complete shock to all of us, as she had just been given a thumbs up at her last doctor’s appointment only three days ago.”

“While we were aware of the severity of her diagnosis, we never lost hope for Avery and even in her passing, we still have hope for our daughter and all of her friends,” he added.

Raise awareness of SMA

In every one of their blog posts, the Canahuatis urged readers to share Avery’s story by “updating your social networks, e-mailing all of your contacts and talking to your friends/co-workers [about SMA]”.

“If we can help save a few of my future friends and their mommy, daddy, and loved ones from SMA, then my life, while cut short in time, will be beyond fulfilling in stature,” Mike wrote in Avery’s voice.

Avery’s newest goal on her bucket list was to raise S$1.2 million to bring Dr. Brian Kaspar’s SMA Gene Therapy program out of the lab and into the SMA patient population to possibly stop the progression of the disease.

So far, S$862,000 has been raised.

SMA is the top genetic disease of children under the age of two and occurs in nearly 1 out of every 6,000 births.

In the latest blog post, Mike also promises to continue campaigning the awareness of SMA, ensuring genetic testing for the disease is made universally available and finding a cure for patients who are diagnosed with SMA.

“I will not break that promise [to Avery] and in the name of SMA awareness and finding a cure, I hope parents of children everywhere will look at Avery’s Bucket List and help her complete items she was unable to.”

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 1 hour 55 minutes ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 2 hours 52 minutes ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 6 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania
    McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.