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A 9 y/o boy who is going blind reminds us how beautiful the world can be.

Ben Pierce is losing his sight.

Ben Pierce is nine years old.

He loves playing with his brothers and sisters and drawing.

He likes reading books and playing video games.

He likes cupcakes and ice cream.

But Ben Pierce won’t be able to read his beloved books in quite the same way soon and he won’t be playing any video games.

Because Ben Pierce is going blind.

The thought of losing his sight makes the young boy cry. It breaks his mother’s heart. But this one little boy’s journey into blindness is showing those around him how beautiful the world really is.

Ben, from Texas in the US, was born at 23 weeks gestation, more than four months early.

He was so underdeveloped that his eyelids were still fused shut.

His doctors did not expect him to survive.

But he did.

However, the older he gets the less sight he has, so Ben is slowly going blind. His parents don’t know how much longer he will retain the limited vision he has now.

His father, Kit Pierce told WFAA Dallas, “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,” the father said.

His world is getting dimmer by the day.

Ben sees Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”

In tears, the young boy told WFAA Dallas, “I just don’t want to be blind.”

So he and his siblings have created a bucket list of things to see before he loses his sight.

Ben’s mother Heidi explained in her blog that the idea came from one of Ben’s therapists.

“(The therapist) 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,” Heidi said.

“And of course, beyond the practical logistics of it, we wanted to help Ben have the emotional experience of witnessing this wild and wonderful world!”

Ben’s Facebook page contains bittersweet images of him visiting zoos to see animals he will never be able to see again and postcards and photographs of places he wants to see.

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At the top of his list was seeing Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and the Statue of Liberty. Last week, that dream came true after TV personality Katie Couric flew his family to New York City for three days.

“He just stared at (the painting) probably for about five minutes,” his mother told The Toronto Star.

“He just said, ‘Wow!’ and stared. It was really fun to watch his reaction.”

She said her son was thrilled when his parents bought him a $5 plastic cup with The Starry Night on it.

Ben’s bucket list of things to see also contains the Grand Canyon, an observatory, a chocolate factory and a cooking show.

“Almost every day he pops into our room after bedtime and says, ‘May I see a photo of a glacier?’ or ‘Can you show me Mount Rushmore’ or ‘I want to see the Sistine Chapel,” she writes.

Ben’s mum says it is tough for the whole family

His list includes seeing the Northern Lights, the mountains, a moose and touching sand dunes.

He wants to go skiing and snorkeling and visit a “candy factory”.

He wants to see an Apple store, a Kiwi bird and watch how ice cream is made.

He wants to see (and eat) a chocolate Kinder egg.

The boy’s quest to visually experience the world — before he no longer can — has captured hearts around the world, with fundraising pages having been set up to assist the little boy’s dreams come true.

His mother says she knows a lot of it is unrealistic but he is happy with pictures on the internet and postcards from strangers around the world.

Heidi told The Toronto Star that his five siblings are struggling with their brother’s loss of vision and have helped out paying for his vision bucket list, giving up their pocket-money and selling homemade bread and cakes to neighbours.

“It’s rough,” she said. “They’re very close. They’re protective of him. They’re very careful about making sure that he feels included.”

If you want to help Ben see how beautiful our world is you can:

Postcards and pictures can be sent to:

Ben’s Wish List

c/o Hobby-Q

PO Box 2107
 Lake Dallas,

TX 75065-2107

USA

* His Mum’s blog can be read here.

* His Facebook page can be seen here

* You can help donate here.

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