Chris Cice is a Seattle-based pilot, and when he read about Ben Pierce’s journey, he wanted to help. Ben is a 9-year-old boy from Texas who is going blind because of a rare health condition. The boy recently created a visual bucket list of all the things he’d like to see before he loses his vision.
The list included; New York, The Grand Canyon and The Northern Lights.
The trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, to see the Northern Lights is long and would be costly for a big family like Ben’s, but Captain Cice thought he could help.
“I could only imagine what Ben was going through and his family,” Cice told ABC13.
“It makes you want to reach as far as you can to make something happen. When I brought this idea to Alaska Airlines, I could’ve never imagined that it turned out the way it did.” Cice took Ben and his family to Fairbanks to see the lights.
As a pilot, Cice said he has seen the Northern Lights before, but seeing it through the eyes of a child gave him new perspective.
“I see it often enough that when I do see it – wow – it’s beautiful … but to be able to see it and then never see it again … that’s a memory I don’t think we can replace,” he said.
“We were able to see the reds, the greens and just the ability to be able to see that – that night with him … I have that memory that he now has. His words are what my memory will be. My visual memory.”
By the end of the trip, Ben’s mother told “Captain Chris,” as Ben calls him, he should consider himself part of the family.
“I’m anxious to look back in 10, 15 years and watch him grow and watch what those visual memories have done for him as he ages,” Cice said.
(Photo/Story via ABC13 via Daily Saint)
The photo of Ben Pierce with his arm’s raised in front of the northern lights is via Ronn Murray Photography & Tours.