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Nico Ventetuolo was an extraordinary young child who touched the lives of everyone who met him. Though he was here for only a short time, his impact was great. Sweet and gentle, Nico could - and often did - stop strangers in the park, at the store, in a restaurant, or basically anywhere with his smile and innocent charm, engaging people who stopped to ask his name.

Though just over a year old when he was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation, Nico seemed "wise beyond his years", quick to pick up anything new, always ready to explore. He had a neat streak that was uncharacteristic for a toddler, not only picking up after himself, but others too! He would find the tiniest dustball, string, or piece of lint and head right to the trash. He was patient and understanding in a way that often surprised me and most of the doctors and nurses that cared for him. Nico was a boy who

loved stories, Finding Nemo, toy cars of any kind, and the color purple. He could count to six, his favorite number was 2, and his favorite snack was applesauce. He was never without "yellow blanket", his constant companion. He loved to give hugs and get them too. He spread love wherever he went, touching one heart after another. Though Nico is missed everyday, his family knows they can still find him just about everywhere. He's the baby bird who visits Dana's back yard tree. He's the single purple flower growing in a garden of green. He's the beautiful sunset at the end of a long summer day, and he's the brightest star in the sky at night.

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