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Ben Pierce is going blind, but as long as he can see, Ben and his parents are hoping to create as many visual memories as they can while he still has his sight.
The 9-year-old boy was born four months premature, weighing just one pound, four ounces. His eyelids were still fused shut and doctors said his chances for survival were slim.
“My hope was I'd just get to see him before he passed,” his mother, Heidi Thaden-Pierce, told WFAA in Dallas. “I just wanted to be out of the general [anesthetic] long enough to see him and say 'hello' and 'good-bye.’”
But with every challenge his body faced, Ben managed to pull through and is healthy today, except for his eyes. He will have to have eye surgery and he is already seeing random spots. He is sensitive to bright lights.
"It prevented his retinas from detaching, but it also left some scar tissue," Kit Pierce, his father, told WFAA. "And so every time he grows, as his eyes are growing, the scar tissue is not stretching. So he's losing a little more eyesight each time he has a growth spurt."
Doctors have told his parents that they should provide Ben with as many visual memories as possible as long as he can still see. He gave them a list of places he wants to see. His last visual memories should be of him learning how to live without sight.
The family then took the story to social media, creating a Facebook page, which now has over 1,400 likes. They are chronicling Ben’s wishes at TheDenPierce.org, where they have listed some of the dreams that have come true already. An anonymous donor made sure he could go to Orlando to see the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios. Even a trip to the Apple Store got a passionate post from the family. They also got to the Dallas Museum of Art so Ben could see a Van Gogh painting.
Ben has five siblings, so the family has had to raise funds to ensure that Ben can complete his wish list. “Plane tickets for everyone to go see the Pyramids might not be reasonable, so his brothers and sisters said, 'We're going to help. We're going to start fundraising to help with these trips,” Heidi told WFAA.
image via Facebook from Ben’s Wishes