A Quebec Family’s Quest: Filling Their Children’s Visual Memories Before Sight Loss, Where Are They Now?

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NEWS - A mother's greatest wish is for her children to grow healthy and happy and to one day hold the world in the palms of their hands.

But the path Edith Lemay envisioned for her children took a heartbreaking detour when she found out that three of her four children would soon lose their vision.

Mia, Laurent, and Colin all have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease that affects the retina and causes significant eyesight loss over time.

With this devastating news, Edith had to let go of the vision of the future she had for her kids and reevaluate everything in their lives.

Edith initially considered teaching her kids braille, but a specialist told her to fill their visual memory instead. Experts suggested reading and looking at pictures of elephants and giraffes, for example rather than studying braille.

But instead of giving her children books, Edith decided to show them the world!

And so Edith and her husband, Sebastien Pelletier, quit their jobs, and the family set off on a yearlong trip across the globe to collect as many "visual memories" as possible for their children while they can still see.

Since March 2022, they have been traveling worldwide, visiting places like Namibia, Zambia, and Tanzania.

They also journied through Turkey, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Ticking Off The Bucket List

Edith said her kids are not worried about the possibility that they may never see certain things again. Instead, they are simply enjoying each moment.

They created a list of things they want to do together and are working to make their dreams a reality.

Mia's Favorite Sights

Mia loves horses and was thrilled when they could go horseback riding during their time in Mongolia.

She was so happy and returned from the horseback ride with tears in her eyes.

Colin's Favorite Sights

Colin wanted to sleep on a train, so they went on the Tazara in Tanzania and had bunk beds.

Laurent's Favorite Sights

Little man Laurent had a unique request - to drink juice while riding on a camel! The family found it amusing, but they made it happen when they went camel riding in Mongolia.

But Laurent's favorite memory so far was the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Edith and Sebastien initially said they could only watch the balloons take off because they couldn't afford it. The kids were so happy when they found out they were actually going to ride on one!

Teaching Life Lessons Along The Way

For Edith, this trip is more than just making memories but a chance to teach her children valuable life lessons.

Edith said she wants her children to view their vision loss not as a curse or something terrible but as a path in life with significant challenges they have the tools to face.

The family uses basic transportation and accommodation to see as many sights as possible because they want to teach their children resilience.

Edith wants her children to understand that no matter how unpleasant a situation is, it is only temporary.

She said her children need to be tough and adjust to the changes that come with their vision loss for the rest of their life. They will fall and then rise again, becoming stronger as they readapt to their situation.

More than seeing elephants and giraffes in person, the lasting memory these children will cherish for the rest of their lives would be their family's unwavering love and support.

In today's fast-paced world, where we often overlook things, this family's ongoing quest reminds us to fully embrace life and cherish every moment.

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