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.”

  • Wednesday #sgroundup: More than 300 people missing after South Korean ferry sinks - coastguard 2 hours 22 minutes ago
    Wednesday #sgroundup: More than 300 people missing after South Korean ferry sinks - coastguard

    Here are the top trending stories of the day in case you missed them:

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America 14 hours ago
    2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America

    For the past two years, car shoppers from Acapulco to Winnipeg could wander into their Chevy dealers and kick the tires on a city-sized sport utility vehicle named the Trax — and about 90,000 have done so. Today, Chevy revealed the version of the Trax it will bring to the United States, for those less well-heeled buyers who want the shape of an SUV without the window sticker they usually carry.

  • Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van 16 hours ago
    Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van

    “Once you do stand-up, you don’t want to go back.” No, we’re not talking about comedy, but rather an emerging trend in luxury transport that’s bringing us ever taller, more capacious, more pimpdillyicious limousines. The quote came from a Ford designer, Tim Stoehr, predicting an increase in interest in limos based on big vans like the new Transit. Of course, these are nothing new; up-fitters have taken quite kindly to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and apparently Ford is chomping at the bit to get in on the action, too. So Ford enlisted the help of the largest Ford dealer in the world, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., to help design and build its first super-lux Transit concept, dubbed the Skyliner.

  • Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report
    Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report

    Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company aims to announce its new product by the end of June and ship to customers by the end of September in time for the holidays, the Journal said in a Friday report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter. Amazon, it said, hopes to differentiate its phone from other models with a screen that displays hologram-like three-dimensional images, which can be viewed without special glasses. Earlier this month the retailer unveiled a new media streaming device, Amazon Fire TV, which it touted as simplifying the experience of watching video online.

  • Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying
    Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying

    The supermodel said that she will take her daughter in a vacation but will try to avoid boarding a plane

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The 6,825-tonne ferry, which had sailed out of the western port of Incheon on Tuesday evening, ran into trouble some 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the island of Byungpoong.