Family plans 'beautiful sights' tour for boy going blind

March 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 3 (UPI) -- A New Zealand mother said she and her family are taking her 12-year-old son to see the world's most "beautiful images" before he goes blind.

Catherine Corbett of Auckland said her three sons have all been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disorder that will eventually lead to blindness, but the youngest boy, Louis, 12, found out last year that his disorder is accelerated and he will likely lose his sight much more quickly than his older brothers, who could retain vision for decades, CNN reported Monday.

Corbett said she and her family are planning an international tour this year to allow Louis to take in the sights of the world before he goes blind.

"This year we're going to try and fill his world with as many beautiful images as we can," she said.

Destinations selected by Louis and his family include the Empire State Building, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. His top choice is to visit Boston to watch the Celtics play basketball, his mother said.

"For some reason he really got hooked on American basketball," his mom said. "He cares about nothing else. He is really quite passionate about it."

Warren Casey, the chief executive officer of Boston software firm Ceiba Solutions, agreed to pay for the family's trip. Casey, who flies from Auckland to Boston every six weeks, said the location of his company had nothing to do with his involvement.

"That was a random coincidence," he said. "I did it because the Corbetts are my next door neighbors."

Casey and his company have raised $25,000 from the public toward the Corbett family's vacation, and he said Ceiba Solutions will pick up the rest of the bill.

"It is so touching," Catherine Corbett said. "People are just so supportive."

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