A 12-Year-Old Superfan Is Watching the Celtics Play Before He Loses His Sight
Twelve-year-old New Zealander Louis Corbett is going blind—and fast. Louis has an inherited, degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive disorder that deteriorates vision over time. Out of the five Corbett children, three have the disease, and last year, the family learned that Louis’s case is accelerated.
The Corbett family is working hard at granting Louis his dream of seeing as much of the world as possible before he loses his eyesight for good. Since his diagnosis, friends and family have been helping him build a “visual database” to introduce him to as many environments, colors, and graphics as possible. “This year we’re going to try and fill his world with as many beautiful images as we can,” his mother told CNN.
Which is what brings Louis and his family 9,000 miles from New Zealand to Boston this week. Topping his list of things to see is watching his favorite basketball team—the Celtics—play live. “For some reason, he really got hooked on American basketball,” his mom also told CNN. “He cares about nothing else. He is really quite passionate about it.”
And so the family launched a fundraising campaign that picked up steam on social media, crowdsourcing donations from friends and corporations to get Louis a seat at TD Garden. Tonight, he’ll be in the crowd to watch the Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors. (For his part, Louis says that Larry Bird is the main reason for his Celtics fandom, but these days, he’s a big fan of Rajon Rondo, too.)
While in Boston, Louis and his family also visited Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, describing the hospital as “Medical Disneyland.” They also had lunch at the Liberty Hotel restaurant, Clink, and have plans to see Fenway and Gillette Stadium. Before arriving in Boston, Louis checked off a few other items on his to-see list, including Google headquarters, NASA, and Disneyland. Next up are the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, and the Empire State Building.
You can follow Louis’s adventures on his Facebook page, which is constantly updated with photo of him, his dad, and his brother. For more information or to donate, visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/louisbigtrip.