'Avery's Bucket List' Baby Passes Away Unexpectedly

Avery Lynn Canahuati, the five-month-old girl with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy who rallied the world to her cause through a "bucket list blog" started by her parents, passed away suddenly Monday afternoon.

Her father, Michael Canahuati, broke the news in a post written in little Avery's voice:

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.

The family started the site after learning of Avery's incurable condition in early April. The aim of the blog was to raise awareness of SMA — "the #1 genetic killer of infants & children under the age of 2" — and the fact that few expecting parents are offered testing for this disease at the time of genetic screening.

Knowing that their daughter was likely to die within months of the diagnosis, Avery's relatives decided to "make each day I'm here a memorable one," and launched "Avery's Bucket List" to chronicle her experiences.

Sadly, she left many of them unrealized.

In honor of her memory, Avery's family is asking for the public's help in completing one last bucket list entry: Reaching $1 million in donations to Dr. Kaspar's SMA Gene Therapy program.

[photo via Avery's Bucket List]