Ben Pierce, Blind Soon, Has Wish List of Things to See Before Then

Thursday, 01 May 2014 05:29 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Ben Pierce, a 9-year-old Dallas boy who is gradually going blind, is doing everything he can to create sight memories before he loses his eyesight, and his wish list of things he’d like to see is growing.

Ben, who was born prematurely at just 23 weeks, is going blind as he grows because of scar tissue that occurred due to of his premature birth.

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According to WFAA-TV, he already needs help to see, needing perfect light to read and using a telescope to see things far away. He is learning to use a walking stick and his parents want him to learn Braille, too.

As his eyesight worsened, doctors encouraged the Pierce family to create visual memories for Ben, which would give him better references for describing things after he is blind.

The boy started a list of what he'd like to see, which includes Paris, Big Ben, an Apple store, forests in Asia, and a Van Gogh original, WFAA reported.

Ben, who tearfully told the station that he doesn't want to lose his sight, has made some of those wishes come true. The Dallas Museum of Art opened early and let him get an up-close look at a Van Gogh painting.

"It does feel pretty urgent to us that we try to get him to as many of these places as quickly as we can," his mother, Heidi Thaden-Pierce, told WFAA. "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."

There are six children under age 12 in the Pierce family, so money isn't readily available for Ben to travel to see some of the things on his list. His siblings have started fundraising for him.

The Pierce family has a website that lists all the places Ben wants to visit.

And about $20,500 has so far been raised to grant Ben's wishes on the website GiveForward.com. Family and friends hope to raise at least $25,000.

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