The family that travels the world to create memories before kids go blind
A family decided to take their four children on a trip around the world before three of them went blind.
The Canadian children — Mia, Colin and Laurent — were diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative genetic disease that leads to the death of photosensitive cells on the surface of the retina.
Experts recommended creating visual memory from books. But Edith Lemay and Sebastien Pelletier, the boys’ parents, decided to go further — and instead of showing a picture of an elephant or a giraffe, they decided to present the animals in the flesh to their children.
“With that in mind, we said: We can dive right in and show them the world. Show them how beautiful the world is — to fill their visual memory with as many beautiful things as we can,” says Edith.
That’s how they set off on a year-long trip around the world.
With six months of travel, they have already visited six countries on three continents: Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Turkey, Mongolia and Indonesia.
And, it seems, the visual memories of the trip have already begun to form:
“My favorite part was my birthday because I was in a balloon,” recalls Laurent.
Maia’s favorite moment was riding in Mongolia, while Colin remembers when they slept on a train.
But it’s not just about creating memories.
Edith says they chose to use basic transportation and accommodation — not just to keep travel costs down, but to make children more resilient.
“We also want our children to become a little more resilient. Because throughout their lives they’re going to need to be resilient.”
“I don’t want them to see what’s happening to them as a curse or something terrible. I want them to see that this is their way of life. And that they have a big challenge, but they have all the tools within them to face it. these challenges”, says the mother.