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Avery's Bucket List: Parents' Hopes for Baby With Spinal Muscle Atrophy Touches Millions

Posted: May 1, 2012 10:03 AM

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Avery Canahuati was only five months old when she passed away. However, her short life and her parents' love for her has touched millions. They created a "bucket list" of plans for her and began blogging about it. Avery's Bucket List began when her mom and dad, Mike and Laura Canahuati, found out she had spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and that she would not live past two-years-old. It is an incurable genetic disease.

Mom and dad decided to spread awareness of SMA and "make sure other children and their families don't have to go through what [Avery and her family are] going through." Her blog is filled with pictures, updates and well wishes from fans. As of Sunday, April 29, her blog had about 1.5 million views and over 80,000 Facebook fans.

Some of the items she had scratched off the bucket list:

- Make an impact on a doctor to mention SMA to his patients.
- Wear a big bow on my head
- Party like a Rock Star
- Teach the first family, and hopefully not the last, about SMA
- Build something with my daddy
- Play with a pinwheel
- Get my first tattoo
- Get 1,000 smiles mailed to me
- Inspire an entire family to work together to help me spread awareness
- Go to my first baseball game
- Throw out the first pitch at a baseball game
- Shake hands with super hot baseball players.
- Meet some of my SMAns.

Her parents hope to bring awareness about SMA and encourage doctors to offer testing for the disease. They have created a place to inspire other families dealing with SMA. According to her blog, "One of Avery's newest Bucket List goals was to help raise the remaining $365,000 (out of $1mil) needed to bring Dr. Kaspar's SMA Gene Therapy program out of the lab and into her SMA friends. Dr. Kaspar's SMA Gene Therapy could cure Avery's friends or at the very least offer advancements towards a cure for them."

You can read more about SMA and how it impacts those who are diagnosed with the disease by clicking here.

Click here to visit Avery's blog and donate to Dr. Kaspar's SMA Gene Therapy program.

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