Texas boy losing his sight starts bucket list of places to see
Published Saturday, May 17, 2014 4:55PM EDT
Nine-year-old Ben Pierce has seen some pretty spectacular sites lately, thanks to friends, family and in some cases, complete strangers.
The Texas boy is slowly going blind, so with the help of his mom he's compiled a wish list of places he'd like to see before he loses his vision entirely.
On the list: the Grand Canyon, Big Ben, the Parthenon and the Northern Lights, to name a few.
Ben said he'd even like to make a trip to Canada to see snow.
Through fundraising, the family has been able to make trips to the Statue of Liberty, NASA and Harry Potter World in Florida.
And while actually visiting each location on the bucket list is not financially viable, Ben has received hundreds of photos and post cards from far-flung destinations.
“The PO box flooded with postcards from around the world," Ben's mother Heidi Thaden-Pierce told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
She said the family has even been sent some vacation photos that included the stories behind the photos.
"Those are even more special," Thaden-Pierce said.
Among those who have answered his wish list is Weird Al Yankovic, one of Ben's favourite artists.
"That was his father's doing, his father is a fan," Thaden-Pierce said.
Born at 23 weeks gestation, Ben spent more than 100 days in a neonatal intensive care unit. While he's healthy today, an earlier retina surgery left scar tissue that worsens as he grows.
Doctors don't know when Ben will go blind, but he's already learning Braille and getting comfortable with using a walking stick.
Through Ben's Wish List Facebook page the family is able to share photos of Ben crossing certain destinations off his list.
"It's been an amazing, overwhelming response," Thaden-Pierce said.