back to top

This Boy Has Made A List Of Things To See Before He Goes Blind

Ben Pierce, 9, has an eye disease that will take his sight completely in the coming years. Before then, he wants to see and do as much as he can in order to create a bank of memories.

Posted on

This is Ben Pierce, who is aged 9, and from Denton, Texas.

Ben was born prematurely at just 23 weeks — four months early — weighing only 1lb 6oz.

Ben was diagnosed with an eye disease called Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). His sight has been in decline for years, and last autumn, he was classified as legally blind.

However, Ben still has some sight, and so has started compiling a bucket list of things he wants to see and do before his sight goes completely.

As Ben's mom, Heidi, wrote in their blog, Ben's wish list ranges from little things like visiting the Apple store to bigger dreams that, sadly, are not financially viable.

Heidi told BuzzFeed: "We began the wish list last autumn after we got the report from his eye exam.

"One of his therapists explained that as he gets older it will be easier for him to describe things and interact with the sighted world if he has memories of things – like snow, she said, or the ocean or a mountain."

"Our first trip was just a few weeks later after we received an anonymous check that allowed us to take Ben to see Harry Potter world."

Ben with his parents, Heidi and Kit, and his brothers and sisters, at Harry Potter World in Universal Studios, Florida.
Facebook: BenWishes

Ben with his parents, Heidi and Kit, and his brothers and sisters, at Harry Potter World in Universal Studios, Florida.

Heidi added: "I don't have an exact count but looking at his list it appears he's crossed off over 40 wishes in the last year."

Some of Ben's bucket list adventures so far also include visiting the Grand Canyon.

Legoland in California.

Seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska.

Ben being a fighter pilot for the day.

Seeing a waterfall in Oklahoma.

At Six Flags theme park in Texas.

Ben and his family at the Great Wolf Lodge in Texas.

Riding a camel in Texas (in lieu of visiting Egypt).

Ben at the Statue of Liberty with his mom.

Mom Heidi told BuzzFeed that the family are not working to a specific timeline, as they simply don't know how quickly Ben's sight will degenerate.

She said: "We've been able to make many wishes come true very quickly because of the outpouring of support. Going forward we'll keep working on Ben's wishes big and small, but we'll be doing it at a slower pace."

Australia is one of the places on Ben's wish list.
Facebook: BenWishes

Australia is one of the places on Ben's wish list.

"Even as his eyesight declines, we'll keep exploring. We'll just shift from more vision specific opportunities to experiences that incorporate some of his other senses.

"For example, he wants to try skiing this winter, but that's something he can continue doing throughout his life regardless of his vision changes."

Ben and his family can be reached at heidi@thadenpierce.org.

Or you can contact them at this mailing address:

Ben's Wish List

c/o Hobby-Q

PO Box 2107

Lake Dallas, TX 75065-2107