Canadian family goes on world tour to make ‘visual memories’ before children lose their vision

Recently, a Canadian family went viral while on a world tour to make memories before three of their four children would eventually lose their sight.

Canadian parents Edith Lemay and Sebastian Pelletier first noticed their eldest daughter Mia had vision problems when she was three years old. Mia was later diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disorder that causes vision loss over time.

After a few years in 2019, the couple observed similar symptoms in their two boys Laurent (5) and Colin (7). However, her second son passed all the tests.

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The mother said there was nothing they could do about it as there was no cure for the disease or the spread of the disease could be stopped. Parents predict that children will lose their sight completely by midlife.

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Lemay said there was only one thing they could do for Mia and the other kids to create “visual memories,” as the specialist recommended. The mother went on to say that instead of showing her an elephant in a book, they would take the children to actually see a real elephant.

She and her husband quickly made plans to spend a year traveling around the world with their children. The couple traveled frequently before becoming parents. Lemay says there are good things to do at home, but nothing beats travel.

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The family of six had an extensive trip, including a visit to China and a trip to Russia by land, which was repeatedly postponed due to Covid travel restrictions. They left for Montreal in March 2022 without a plan. They started their journey in Namibia where they could see elephants, zebras and giraffes.

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From there they traveled to Zambia, Tanzania and finally Turkey and spent a month there. After that, the family traveled to Mongolia, and then to Indonesia.

Pelletier said they only focus on views and animals. The couple hope the trip will support the children’s development of strong coping skills, in addition to beautiful sharp views and show them how privileged they are despite potential difficulties if their eyesight deteriorates later in life.

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The mother claims that while visual experiences still remain a priority, the trip is now more about showing the kids something different and trying to give them a taste of life-changing possibilities.

Although both parents are constantly thinking and worrying about their diagnosis, they are also focused on the present and try to focus on positive energies and things. The family created an Instagram account with over 80,000 followers.

(With contributions from agencies)


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