Want to read about the wishes that have come true? See that list here!

When we received the news that his eyesight had changed so dramatically we immediately began Ben’s wish list. What did he want to see, where did he want to go, what could we help him experience visually before he lost more sight… One of his therapists 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. 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!

Some of what Ben wants to see isn’t realistic, either because of practicality or finances. But we still want him to share all his dreams – if it’s something we can’t see in person we’re looking up places online to see videos or photos. 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.”

It takes all my self control to not cry every time he asks me to show him these things.

Anyway, some of Ben’s list makes me laugh – like the Apple store. Others have me curious (a bike store, or chalk under a microscope??) While we can’t make it all happen, here’s his list of things he hopes to see and experience while he still has as much eyesight as possible.

Ben’s Vision Wish List:

– Germany where his mom was born (and I said someday we’ll make this happen, just not soon.)

– Las Vegas

– snorkeling

– Parthenon in Greece (There is one in Tennessee! And it’s WAY closer than Greece! I know it’s not the same, but we’re working on a budget. :) )

– a toy factory (He says he likes seeing things made.)

– skiing (I’m nervous about this one but we’ll try to make it happen with a helmet. And bubble wrap.)

Ones Mom said aren’t so likely, but I still wrote them down to make him feel better:

– The Great Wall of China

– Mount Rushmore (too long a drive, but someday?)

– the Sistine Chapel (Maybe we’ll get to Italy!)

– Death Valley (too hot!)

– Leaning Tower of Pisa (See Italy above.)

– Roman Colosseum (Ditto – clearly we need an Italy trip.)

– Japan

– Antarctica

Update: I feel bad, because I said no to some of Ben’s wishes and he then thought some others weren’t realistic and didn’t share them with us (like Germany and snorkeling.) So I told him DREAM BIG and tell us anything and everything! Okay, but I’m still not willing to do Antarctica. :)

So if you were losing your eyesight what would YOU want to see? We love suggestions! Truly, please share your ideas – even if we can’t make the trip, we can show him online the places you think are best. Leave a comment and tell us what Ben should see!

Ben’s Wish List
c/o Hobby-Q
PO Box 2107
Lake Dallas, TX 75065-2107

Ben and all the kids LOVE postcards so if you want to send one from your hometown or your vacation spot then they would be thrilled. It’s the next best thing to him getting to see those places in person.

Also, go give us ideas here for the NON-vision bucket list: what should Ben try later on that helps him focus on his other senses? We’re loving the fun ideas – it helps Ben get excited about all of the adventures to come when he’s no longer light dependent. (I love that phrase from Thunder Dog! Talk about giving a new perspective on life without sight.) :)

389 Responses to Wishes

  1. Sonia says:

    You are an inspiration. A brave mother and a brave kid. I wish you the best.
    I suggest you take Ben outside and do some charity like donating to poor people. Let Ben see the genuine smile and happiness of needy people when they get help. That’s a wonderful memory to keep.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. sophie says:

    I live in China and i travel a lot
    I can send you pictures of my trip in Beijing, Hong Kong, shanghai etc… i can also asl my chinese students to share about their hometown

    I dont have Facebook in China and i dont use it so i don’t know how to contcat you but you you can send me an email


    From France and China

  3. Christina says:

    Dear Ben and family.
    You are amazing!You are wonderful family!So supportive to each other.You story touching everybody’s hearts. Ben I have all most 9 year old son Daniel( his turning 9 in February) who like to travel very much and love to see different countries, art, palaces,mountains, forests ,wild life.He love this world like you Ben!We travel a lot in Europe( we live in France) and to South Africa(my husband South African). One of family favorite places in Europe is: Black forest in Germany and Neuschwanstein castle http://www.neuschwansteincastle.net/ ,Florance in Italy( sunset ,when you overlooking town!),Sintra palaces in Portugal.
    We live in very beautiful place you can look up lake Annecy http://en.lac-annecy.com/ .In summer we swim and walk in mountains,doing lots of sport activities, in winter skiing and going in small cafes for cup of hot chocolate with nice croissant. If may be one day like to come visit us in France we will be very happy to show you “Venice of the Alps” this nick name of Annecy.
    I must say South Africa is magical place.We love to go there and feel very sad coming back home.Two oceans meet there,red sunsets,game parks .Incredible feeling when you see beauty of this country.
    Ben we wish you to see all wonderful places you have one your list.You are one brave boy ! If you want to exchange travel experiences with Daniel, he would love to do it!

  4. Clara says:

    Hi Ben !
    I will send you a postcard tomorrow, with my suggestions for your vision’s list of places
    you should see and things you should do, and my adress : if one day you want to visit
    my city (in France), I will be happy to be your guide !
    Have a nice day. Have lots of nice days.

  5. onzo kouakou says:

    salut,c est vraiment courageux venant de la part d un jeune garcon et tres extraordinaire pour une mere! moi je trouve cette idées un peux trop fataliste.quand je pense que des aveugles ont été guerit par JESUS CHRIST.Ces miracle sont encore possible de nos jours.pour moi je souhaiterais,pour cet enfant un avenir ou il vera bien avec les yeux.
    Veillez donc en toute humilité, vous rendre dans un lieux de priere evangelique afin que cet enfant retrouve la guerison a travers un miracle que JESUS CHRIST operera.
    Merci de considerer mon message!

  6. Maria Chacon says:

    He needs to go to a nascar race

  7. Taylor says:

    Here are a some of my favorites: sunset on the ocean, whales in the ocean (aquarium visit in Monterey Bay? NewPort Beach CA?, the mountains of Montana and Wyoming, an eagle soaring in the sky, Mt. St. Helens, Yellowstone National park and all the geysers, flying in an airplane and looking out over the landscape, fireflies lighting up over a field, change of seasons and the leaves falling. A trip to Washington DC to see the Declaration of Independence, items at the Smithsonian, the White House, Lincoln’s memorial, and of course a trip to NY to see the Statue of Liberty!

  8. Theresa says:

    Another one that involves travel, but near the top of my list to see before my vision goes is one of the Bioluminscent Bays in Puerto Rico. Also on my list – a cruise (to take in the open ocean), watching all of the old episodes of Doctor Who, seeing a sloth in person (my favorite animal)!

  9. diana murphy says:

    I love you little man!

    Go to Uganda if you can :)

  10. gaela says:

    Hi guys! Weird Al is now touring and will be playing in Humboldt County September 1st. You could see the Redwoods and see Weird Al all at once!

  11. Tania says:

    Weird Al will be in the TX area August 18-21, 2015. The closest to where you are is in Grand Prairie, TX on August 21, 2015 on Friday at 8 PM…Just thought I would let you know…hope the hubby and older siblings and Ben enjoy Mardi Gras down here! Dean Schouest had a jambalaya and fried fish plate lunch fundraiser today to help get Ben here for Mardi Gras and was interviewed for the Channel 4 news! Hope all goes well…God Bless…

  12. Mary Diamond Stockwell says:

    I am a longtime season ticket holder to LSU College Football Home Games. I have 4 tickets, 2 that my husband and I use for every home game. My other 2 are located 10 rows above where we sit and are purchased by my 2 friends who live in Maryland. They come do Baton Rouge for 1 or 2 games a season. They rest of the tickets I sell to friends or on the LSU ticket marketplace. I would love to invite Ben and either his mother or father to attend a Home LSU Football Game this season.

    God Bless All of You and especially Ben. I have had problems with my eyes since birth but not to the severity of Ben’s. I was born Cross eyed and over the first 7 years of my life had Muscle Surgery. I wear glasses and because of the aftereffects of surgery, contact lenses and refractive surgery were never an option. I would love to make this possible wish come true. Please email me no matter if you accept my idea of a wish for Ben or not.

  13. conrad lewis says:

    Dear Ben-thank god for your mother. The 2 things in my country of Canada that inspire me the most are:

    -the milky way on a clear summer night

    -the northern lights dancing across the sky in winter.

    God bless you and your family

  14. Callie Deming says:

    Dear Heidi and Ben,

    If you get the chance to go to Italy, visit Viterbo and the Amalfi Coast. Viterbo’s historical town still has it’s medieval wall and cobble stone streets. Although most do not speak English there, they are used to college students from the United States and will try their best to communicate with you (they are so friendly there!). And the Amalfi Coast is gorgeous!

    If you ever have interest in visiting Canada, you can take a little plane or a ferry across the bay from Seattle, Washington to Victoria, Britist Columbia. Their historical district is lovely and they have a wonderful museum. While there you should enjoy the deciduous rain forest while camping and swim in the Sooke Potholes.

    For things a little closer to home, visit the Kimbell Art Museum and the Fortworth Modern, if you haven’t already. San Antonio also has a plethora of museums, the river walk and a cute Japanese garden where you can enjoy tea. If you make your way to Corpus Christi, you must go to the Aquarium, go fishing and enjoy the beach on Padre Island. Visit Fort Davis and go horseback riding at Prude Ranch, and see the Chinati Foundation in Marfa.

  15. Britta Klaudat says:

    Dear Ben,
    watched yesterday an report about you and your story, they presented it on our german television (ZDF-Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) … Well, maybe you won´t get blind at all … You should go to more, than one doctor for one final diagnosis … Well, Iam wishing you all the best, power and healthness ! May our lord in heaven above, protecting, blessing and guiding you in/on every way … Many greetings from Hamburg/Germany ! Our famous Harbour is the famous gate to the world ! 😀

  16. Kimberly Schleiger says:

    Hi Ben! I’m so happy to hear about all the adventures you have done so far and a whole lifetime ahead of many more happy memories. You will thrive because you have a wonderful supportive family. Go see the world sweet boy! Best wishes from the Northwest!

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