Trips full of family members always have a special meaning. That’s when parents and children can see new lands together, experience beautiful and memorable memories.
The trip of a family of 6, the Canadian below is one of them. However, it is even more special with great significance, stemming from the illness of 3 out of 4 children in the family.
Edith Lemay and Sebastien Pelletier live in Montreal, Canada. Up to now, they have been married for 12 years and share 4 lovely children, respectively: oldest sister Mia (12 years old), second brother Leo (9 years old) and 2 youngest brothers Colin (7 years old) and Laurent (5 years old).
The whole family of 6 on the trip. (Photo Edith Lemay)
Babies and rare genetic diseases
Unfortunate things began to happen to the family when the oldest sister Mia had to go to the doctor at the age of 3. Doctors diagnosed her with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic condition. This can lead to vision loss or deterioration over many years.
According to doctors, there is currently no treatment in the world that can slow down or cure the disease completely.
In 2019, the youngest two children Colin and Laurent were also diagnosed with the same disease. So up to now, only Leo, the second of four children of this Canadian couple, has normal vision and does not have the same disease as his sister.
The couple’s son Leo, the only child without the disease, during the family’s visit to Cappadocia, Turkey. (Photo Edith Lemay)
According to the National Eye Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, retinitis pigmentosa symptoms typically begin in childhood, and most patients eventually lose most of their vision.
Lemay, the mother of the children, said the doctor had also calculated that her 3 children would probably lose their eyesight completely by middle age.
Take me to see the world before it’s too late
As soon as they learned about their children’s health conditions, the Canadian couple focused on raising their children to learn life skills that could help them in the future.
Doctors and experts alike have suggested something called “visual memory,” which is for children to remember images they’ve seen in their lives. And so, the special round-the-world journey was born.
Lemay says: “I thought, instead of showing them an elephant in a book, I would take the kids to see a real elephant. We would fill their memory of the children’s pictures with the best, good pictures. as much as we can.”
The children’s father, Pelletier, also shared: “There’s nothing better than traveling. Not only the scenery, but the children learn more about different people and cultures.”
Children are allowed to see things they have never seen before, to see the world for themselves. (Photo Edith Lemay)
Before getting married, the couple traveled a lot around the world together. However, when she got married and had 4 children, this gradually became more limited and was no longer as easy as before.
The father has decided to sell all his shares in the financial company, where he is working, so that he can have the money and time to travel around the world with his family in an expected period of 1 year. .
July 2020, everything is ready for the whole family to hit the road. However, the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic caused the plan to be delayed. It will not be until March 2022 that the trip can begin.
The trip does not have a specific schedule
The children’s mother said: “We actually hit the road with no schedule or intention of any specific locations.”
Before going, they only refer to the experiences for the trip, along with a list of experiences that the children want to participate in. In it, Mia wants to try horseback riding, and Laurent wants to drink juice on the back of a camel.
So far, over the past 6 months, their family has traveled through Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Turkey, Mongolia and Indonesia. “We wanted to focus on attractions, with diverse flora and fauna. The children have seen amazing animals in Africa, in Turkey and elsewhere.”Pelletier added.
Father and son taking pictures at Fish River Canyon, Namibia. (Photo Edith Lemay)
The trip contains lessons and challenges
Despite moving continuously between many different cities or countries, the children almost did not encounter any difficulties. According to the couple, they are impressed by how quickly the children adapt to a new culture anywhere, including unexpected changes.
They also think that traveling is the best time to learn, even if you feel difficult, uncomfortable, tired or even disappointed.
Lemay and Pelletier hope that spending time in different countries and experiencing different cultures will show all children how lucky they are, despite the challenges that may come later. when their eyesight deteriorates.
Once, Mia asked her mother: “Mom, what does it mean to be blind? Can I drive a car?” – “It’s a really painful question for me.”Lemay cho there.
Although the experience of seeing with your own eyes is still the best, the couple wants the children to remember forever the images they have met on this trip and not forgotten.
Children take a dip in a hot spring pool in Pamukkale, Turkey. (Photo Edith Lemay)
The family of Lemay and Pelletier and their four adorable children plan to end the trip and return home to Quebec next March. However, they also say that this is not certain because they are trying not to think too far into the matter.
What matters now is that their family had a great time together. “The trip has opened up a lot of new things for us and we really want to enjoy everything around us and what we are”the husband shared.
Although traveling is seen as an experiment, the couple are happy to see their children become more bonded. This means a lot in the future when they can support each other in life.
Parents are happy when the kids become more connected through the trip. (Photo Edith Lemay)
Pelletier emphasized that they still hope that Mia, Colin and Laurent may never go blind. But for now, they’re doing all they can to make sure the kids can handle whatever the future may bring.
I said: “Hopefully science will find a solution. We don’t want to, but we know it can happen, so we want to make sure our kids are equipped to face these challenges.”
Refer to CNN, Mirror