Mom Creates Sightseeing Bucket List for Daughter Who Is Going Blind
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
One mother is taking her daughter on the ultimate road trip before she loses her sight.
Catrina Frost’s daughter Cailee Herrell “was diagnosed with Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy, a rare genetic disorder that causes impaired vision and can develop into full blindness,” shared Today. At the age of 6, Herrell has undergone 5 laser eye surgeries and has now reached the cap for what she can do.
Joy Ross, a good friend of Frost’s, went through a similar situation and went blind eight years ago. Frost reached out to Ross and asked her what it is like to go blind. Ross shared that she won’t be “living in a black world,” and will “still see images in her head.” After Frost realized this, she knew she had to give Herrell as many experiences as she could.
“Because Joy had all these experiences, she’s able to pull a vision from her memory,” Frost shared with Today. “At that point, I wanted to put as much in front of Cailee as I could.”
After suffering from a hemorrhage in December, Herrell went to San Diego to see a specialist. It was during that trip that the little girl got to see a beach for the very first time.
“When we first got to the beach, we had to climb over a mound of sand and when we got over the hill she took a breath in and was just in awe,” Frost said.
They also visited the Imperial Sand Dunes in Brawley, California where Herrell was able to make “sand angels.”
Frost also set up a GoFundMe page hoping to raise enough money to spend the day with her daughter at Disneyland. In an unusual coincidence, a Disney cast member came across the page and was able to help out Frost and planned an entire day for them.
Herrell got to do a private meet and greet with all of her favorite princesses while wearing her homemade Belle dress.
“She was twirling in her dress from 8:30 a.m. to midnight,” Frost said. “It was by far the happiest I’ve ever seen her.”
So, what’s next on the bucket list?
In the next few months the mother and daughter plan to see the redwood trees, “The Nutcracker,” and take a ride in a hot air balloon. They also plan on going fishing, camping, and taking some art and cooking classes.
“My hope for Cailee is that she will have a memory bank of images and colors to pull from later in life,” Frost explained. “As long as I can give her experiences and keep building her memories, I’ll keep doing it.”