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.
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.