Parents Create Visual Bucket List For Daughter Before She Loses Eyesight
Two parents from Ohio are hoping a visual bucket list will enable their daughter to experience the world before she loses her eyesight.
Recently, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Myers was diagnosed a genetic condition called Usher syndrome type II.
If doctors are correct, Lizzy's condition will lead to her experiencing noticeable hearing loss and tunnel vision in her teen years, all ending in potential blindness.
Her parents haven't informed Lizzy of her condition yet, but they know she has around five to seven years before she loses her working vision.
That is why they've mapped out a sort of visual bucket list full of optical activities to take part in before Lizzy loses the ability to thoroughly enjoy them.
One recent activity involved a trip to Warren Rupp Observatory to look at the night sky through a giant telescope.
Lizzy's parents, Steve and Christine Myers, are planning on taking other family outings to see the Grand Canyon, Northern Lights and Yellowstone National Park before she experiences any major vision loss.
On a smaller scale, the family is also just hoping to enjoy sunsets, catch lightning bugs and look at the night sky together on the home front.
Around a year ago, Lizzy started experiencing hearing loss. Doctors ran a standard series of tests on Lizzy to identify the problem, but they all came back negative.
That's when her doctor pushed Steve and Christine to allow for genetic testing to find the root of the problem. Though they were hesitant at first, they eventually agreed to have more testing done, which eventually led to her diagnosis.
Steve Myers told Mansfield News Journal,
If they hadn't pushed us for genetic testing, we would never have known what's to come for Lizzy.
The Myers family hopes their story will encourage other parents to seek out genetic testing sooner after their children start to show symptoms.
They hope getting early diagnoses will also give families the opportunity to make their own bucket lists of activities while their children can still enjoy them.
There are clinics trying to find a cure for Usher syndrome, and Lizzy's parents said these tests may be able to help her later on, but they aren't banking on a cure.
For now, the family is focused on enjoying the time they have together and giving Lizzy the best visual experiences they can.