They want to leave no site unseen.
A Canadian family of six is currently on a global tour, soaking in mental images before three of their four kids go blind.
Parents Edith Lemay and Sebastien Pelletier said their children, Mia, 12, Colin, 7, and Laurent, 5, all have retinitis pigmentosa — a genetic disorder that affects the eyes and causes loss of vision.
Their son, Leo, 9, was given the all-clear.
There is currently no cure or treatment to slow down the disease, so the parents have made it their mission to give their kids the experience of seeing the world before they totally lose their vision — which is expected to happen in midlife.
Their eldest is preparing for blindness by age 30.
“I thought, I’m not going to show her an elephant in a book, I’m going to take her to see a real elephant,” Lemay told CNN about Mia’s specialist recommending the family makes “visual memories.”
“And I’m going to fill her visual memory with the best, most beautiful images I can,” she said.
The parents began saving up for their travels — which were supposed to happen in 2020 but were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lemay’s workplace also put money towards the adventures.
“With the diagnosis, we have an urgency,” Pelletier added. “There’s great things to do at home, but there’s nothing better than traveling. Not only the scenery but also the different cultures and people.”
The party of six started their travels around eastern Canada in July 2021. In March 2022, they started their international tour in Namibia.
Last week, they went from Mongolia to Indonesia and have been traveling with the intent to cross off a bucket list of activities that the kids have created, including everything from riding horses to drinking juice on a camel.
Friends and fans follow their travels through regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.
With much left to see, the family estimates they won’t return home to Quebec for at least another six months.
“This trip has opened our eyes to a lot of other things, and we really want to enjoy what we have and the people that are around us,” Pelletier said.
Although the parents have been doing what they can to prepare their kids for the life-altering challenges ahead, they remain optimistic that their kids will never go blind.
“Hopefully, science will find a solution,” Pelletier added.
“We cross our fingers for that. But we know that it might happen, so we want to make sure our kids are equipped to face these challenges,” he added.
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