This 5-year-old girl is going blind, so her parents made her a visual bucket list
Lizzy Myers is only 5 years old, but she’s already got big plans for all the things she wants to see and do. Her parents, Steve and Christine Myers, of Ohio, have a little something to do with this plan and are calling it Lizzy’s “visual bucket list.”
Lizzy has a rare genetic condition, Usher Syndrome type II, that affects only four babies out of 100,000.The disease is causing her to lose her hearing, and Lizzy has worn a hearing aid since her diagnosis last year. As for her sight; it’s not a matter of if she’ll go blind, but when.
The Mansfield News Journal reports that Lizzy will start to lose night vision in as little as five years and will probably experience tunnel vision shortly after that. “About five to seven years is our window to get her out and about to see things, especially at night,” Steve said. “Otherwise, it would be too late to do things like this (view the night sky) or catch lightning bugs.”
Lizzy’s parents want her to enjoy the simple pleasures, and the night sky is something they wanted her to appreciate and remember once she’s not able to see it for herself anymore. When the Richland Astronomy Club heard about Lizzy’s visual bucket list, they invited her and her best friend, Addison, to the Warren Rupp Observatory to look at the moon through the telescope they call “Big Blue.”
Lizzy was impressed, describing the moon, with her arms outstretched wide, “It was big, giant, round. It has holes in it.” From there, the Astronomy club gave Lizzy a look at Saturn, which impressed the five year old a little more. She shouted, “I see it, I see it,” jumping up and down. “It looks like an oval that’s colored all in.”
Appreciating the simple wonders is the plan for now, but Steve and Christine want Lizzy to see the big wonders as well. They are already making plans for the family to see the Grand Canyon, the Northern Lights, Niagara Falls, and Yellowstone. The Myers just want Lizzy to have as many memories as she can muster before she loses her vision.
When Lizzy was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss last year, their doctor encouraged them to have genetic testing. The parents initially weren’t sure about further testing, but as Lizzy’s dad told ABC News, “If they hadn’t pushed us for genetic testing, we would never have known what’s to come for Lizzy. Then it would have been too late.”
The Myers also hope that Lizzy’s story can inspire other parents to have their children tested.
We are so moved by this story, Lizzy’s strength and her parents’ efforts to provide her with a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Check out the Mansfield News Journal’s video all about Lizzy and her epic bucket list below, and prepare to feel all the feelings.
(Image via screengrab of Mansfield Journal News Video)