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Ryan Teixeira wrote a children's book before he died. His girlfriend illustrated it — and you can buy it

Arroyo Grande High School's Ryan Teixeira poses in 2015 after being named the Tribune County Player of the Year for baseball. Teixeira died in 2017 at the age of 20 and wrote "The Toad's Code" while in the hospital.
Arroyo Grande High School's Ryan Teixeira poses in 2015 after being named the Tribune County Player of the Year for baseball. Teixeira died in 2017 at the age of 20 and wrote "The Toad's Code" while in the hospital. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

As 20-year-old Ryan Teixeira fought cancer for the second time, he was inspired to write a children's book.

More than a year after his death, former girlfriend and Cal Poly student Nicole Pitman helped bring the book to life, and now, to kids all across the Central Coast.

After Pitman's mother Debbi came up with the idea for the book, Teixeira and Nicole Pitman started to put it together in the hospital as Teixeira, an Arroyo Grande High School graduate and standout baseball player, underwent treatment for Ewing sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia during a two-year span.

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Arroyo Grande High graduate Ryan Teixeira wrote "The Toad's Code" before he died in March of 2017 after two bouts with cancer. His former girlfriend Nicole Pitman illustrated and published the book as part of her senior project at Cal Poly. 17 Strong Foundation

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Nicole Pitman, longtime girlfriend of Arroyo Grande High School graduate Ryan Teixeira, illustrated "The Toad's Code," a children's book penned by Teixeira before he died following two bouts with cancer. 17 Strong Foundation/Facebook

Teixeira died on March 4, 2017, but Nicole Pitman continued to work on the illustrations for the book as a part of her senior project at Cal Poly. Now, the public is getting its first look at "The Toad's Code."

The 17 Strong Foundation, a nonprofit set up by Teixeira before his death, will be providing copies of the book to all elementary schools in the Lucia Mar School District and local libraries.

A reading of the book by Teixeira's grandmother Cee Teixeira is planned for May 18 at Harloe Elementary School in Arroyo Grande for Lucia Mar School District Officials and local librarians.

Copies of the book can be purchased on the SeventeenStrong.org website for $17. Proceeds will go toward providing "Victory Trips" for young adults who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

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