Helium-filled balloons suspend a Santa Claus figure riding a horse-drawn chariot made of balsa wood, created by artist Nasser Volant, near the Eiffel Tower in Paris December 12, 2013.
This time of the year, most people have a wish list for Christmas. However, the White family from Sydney has a different kind of a list. There are in a hurry to gather memory, especially the visual ones, as they know that there will be a time pretty soon when they won't be able to experience those any more.
Kathryn, Samuel and Matthews White are aged 12, 9 and 7 consecutively. However, their wish list is to gather memories in the next few months which they can cherish for the rest of their life. Dave White, the head of the family, feels that his children should be brought up to be resilient, tough and strong enough to face what is going to happen to them shortly. Everything is going to be more difficult for them, he feels. Beth White, the mother of the children, is well aware what future holds for them.
Beth started having problems related to her vision when she was just 5. She met Dave - her "would be" - when she was 15. By the time she reached 21, she was officially blind. According to specialists, Beth suffers from Retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease in the eyes. Beth, on the other hand, has always questioned the diagnosis. When the couple decided to have a family, it was time for them to seek medical advice on the possibilities of the disease passing on to the next generation.
Beth informs the ABC that they had consulted geneticists but could not manage to get any conclusive answer. That is why the White couple decided take a risk which turned out to be severe. Even though none of their children showed any sign of RP for years, it was Samuel (their second child) who started having problems in his vision. Beth found it "terrible" and mourned for a year. Leaving every doctor baffled, all three children now suffers from the vision problem which Beth suffered. However, the condition is not RP.
Doctors at the Western Sydney Genetics Program confirmed that neither Beth nor her children have RP but they fail to give any name to the strange disorder. The children, on the other hand, have understood that they may soon lose their vision. That is why they are in a hurry to visually experience everything they can. They have made their "bucket list" which includes the Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower.