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.
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.