‘Bucket List Baby’ Avery Loses Battle With SMA

Avery Lynn Canahauti, a 5-month old who found herself in the national news cycle after her bucket list went viral, passed away on Monday morning.

Avery’s parents created a bucket list for Avery after she was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type One. Doctors told Avery’s parents that the incurable disease would likely take Avery’s life before she was two-years-old.

Michael Canahuati wrote on Avery’s blog this morning:

“Avery passed away yesterday sometime around 3pm due to pulmonary complications related to SMA. In short, one of her lungs collapsed and she went into cardiac arrest. I immediately performed CPR on her and was able to bring her back to life, but only for a brief period of time before she passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital.”

Michael then shared a letter that his 5-month-old daughter “wrote” to him before her passing. Avery writes:

“If you’re reading this it’s because I’ve gone to take care of my Uncle Bryant, Nana Carolyn, Papa George, and all my great Grandparents. I love you veeeeeeeeeery much. Also, tell Nana & G-Pa I love them too. In fact, tell everyone who loved me that I love them and I appreciate them caring about me.When I started writing my blog, I thought I’d only be speaking to my closest friends and family members. Little did I know soooooooo many people would care about me and while I’m flattered to have so many people who love me, I hope they will also take time to love and care about all of my friends out there with SMA.

“When people think of me, I hope they’ll also think of all my friends who have been through this and who are going through this now. But what I really hope for is that when people think about me, they will not waste time sitting there feeling sorry for me, rather I hope they will STAND UP in honor of me and all of my friends (past, present, and future). And they can do so by spreading awareness and helping to fund a cure for my friends.

Mommy. Daddy. I love you every bit as much as you love me. And while I’m not here physically, I will forever live in your minds, as you will mine. Love always, Avery, Aviator, Aves, Scuttlebutt.”

Avery also asked for people to donate to Dr. Kaspar’s SMA Gene Therapy program in order to help find a cure for SMA. (If you’d like, you can donate to the fund here.)

Toronto CTV reports that Avery’s blog has been viewed more than two million times. Avery was also able to cross off a few things from her bucket list before she died. Avery celebrated her first Easter, she received her first kiss (from another baby with SMA), she had a tea party with her mother, and even threw out the first pitch at a baseball game.

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