A 9-year-old Texas boy who has been losing his vision since birth created a bucket list of things to see before he goes blind and his family raised $20,000 to make it happen.
Ben Pierce was born four months early with his eyes fused shut. Doctors didn’t expect him to survive. Nine years later, Ben hopes to see London, Paris, and forests in Asia.
One of six children, his parents knew those dreams might be too big to afford so they turned to a fundraising website where they raised $20,000 for Ben’s adventure. Ben’s brothers and sisters are also fundraising, making and selling homemade truffles and bread.
He’s already been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, attended a major league soccer game and saw a Van Gogh painting at the Dallas Museum of Art.
“Some of his answers surprised us, and were really funny,” Heidi Thaden-Pierce, Ben’s mother, said. “Like he wanted to go to the Apple Store. OK. Some of them were things that I'd never even heard of — these amazing forests in Asia, and he wants to see the Eiffel Tower.”
"We're going to hit Albuquerque, because it's the name of a favorite Weird Al song," his father, Kit Pierce, said.
He’s already learned Baille and is accustomed to using a walking stick.
"I just don't want to be blind,” Ben tearfully told WFAA.
Doctors told his parents to give Ben as many visual memories as possible while that’s still possible.
"So let him see the mountains and let him see the oceans,” Heidi said. “Take him to see animals so that he can describe it better when he doesn't have the ability to see it."
“It does feel pretty urgent to us that we try to get him to as many of these places as quickly as we can,” she said. “But when we look how far he's come and how many odds he's overcome and how amazing it is that he's even here, it gives us hope that maybe we'll pull off a few more miracles.”