Cailee Herrell has substantially less time than most to see the world.
Despite being diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that causes rapid vision loss, the 6-year-old girl is determined to take in as many sights as possible before going completely blind. When Cailee was first diagnosed with Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy at just 2 years old, her mom, Catrina Frost, sought answers from a friend who had also lost her vision.
"I can't imagine what it's like and so I asked her if it was just black," Catrina told the Daily Mail. "She told me it wasn't because she has memory vision, so if I say I'm wearing a yellow shirt, her mind will see it." Catrina quickly realized from her friend's experience how important it is to utilize the time Cailee has left with her eyesight to make lasting impressions that will be what she can draw upon once the irreversible damage to her retina is done.
"[My friend's] memory bank is full and that's why we created the sighting seeing bucket list — it's not just adventures but it's important for her future," said Catrina. "I want to give Cailee as much as possible — and not just introduce her to the rainbow colors, but give her terracotta and crimson."
This visual bucket list is filled with major activities like going to Disneyland and seeing the ocean for the first time, as well as simple childhood experiences like going to camp.
"When Cailee was just 3 she reminded me, 'Girls are tough, mom,'" said Catrina. "Whether she has vision or not I want her to grow up happy, healthy, successful, and to become an independent woman."