Canadian family takes children losing their sight on world tour
Edith Lemay and Sebastien Pelletier, who live in Canada’s Quebec, decided to go on a world tour after it was revealed that three of their four children have a disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which will cause them to lose their vision completely in their 30s.
The couple also traveled to Istanbul with their three children suffering from the disease, the eldest one, Mia, 12, 7-year-old Colin, 5-year-old Laurent, and their fourth child, Leo.
The Canadians visited the southern province of Antalya, Türkiye’s major holiday destination, Cappadocia, the historical region in Central Anatolia famous for its fairy chimneys, and Kars in the country’s east.
“The doctors suggested that we increase the visual memories of our children as much as possible. We wanted our children to see the world in person, not through photographs,” said Lemay and Pelletier.
“For this, the best thing was to go on a world tour.”
The family, who started a year-long world tour in March, has visited Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Mongolia besides Türkiye so far.
They had originally planned to start their world tour with a trip between Russia and China in 2020, but this plan fell through due to the pandemic.
Sharing their travels on their social media account, they are now touring Indonesia.
Retinis pigmentosa is a rare genetic disease in which cells in the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye, begin to break down. Its symptoms normally first appear in childhood, with vision problems at night.
Research on the disease says that some become “almost blind” in their 30s. There is currently no cure for the disease, but experts say using assistive and educational programs to improve vision could help.