The journey of a lifetime continues for Edith Lemay, Sebastien Pelletier and their four children Mia, Leo, Colin and Laurent, who travel the world to make as many “visual memories” as possible before three of the children lose their vision.
Since last March, their travels have taken them through Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Turkey, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia, while documenting their journey to over 100,000 followers on Instagram.
“(The kids) love it. (They) just said they want to travel forever,” Lemay told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday.
Three of the four children – Mia, Colin and Laurent – were diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic condition that causes vision loss over time. The parents say the deterioration of Mia, Colin and Laurent’s vision is likely to accelerate in their teenage years, with about 10 percent of their vision lost by midlife. According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, there is no cure for retinitis pigmentosa, which typically involves worsening night vision as well as loss of peripheral vision, commonly known as “tunnel vision.”
After her diagnosis, her parents set out to show their children as much of the world as possible while they could still see.
“My daughter really likes the horseback riding in Mongolia,” Lemay said. “That’s one of their best (memories). Leo really loves the animals in Africa…Colin is all about the train so all the train rides, especially the ones in Tanzania, are really great. And for Laurent and most of the family – one of the best memories was the balloon ride.”
For Christmas, the family spent it on a remote island in Cambodia, and even invited some of their friends from Quebec to come.
“We made a Christmas tree with a palm branch and put some lights in it, so it was very nice,” Lemay said.
The family will next cross the border into Laos, where they plan to spend a month before visiting one or two more countries. They hope to be back home in Quebec before the school year ends so their oldest daughter Mia can say goodbye to her friends before she starts high school on the 7th.
“The final destination, we don’t know. We have one or two destinations to match before we come back home. And we don’t know, we’re looking at Oman, Egypt. We don’t know yet.
Watch the full interview with Edith Lemay at the top of this article.
With files from CTV News Montreal