Boy’s wish to see ABQ fulfilled before going blind

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A 9-year-old boy from Texas, who is losing his sight, put Albuquerque on his bucket list of things to see before he goes blind. Saturday, he got the star treatment.

It is a first for Ben Pierce – seeing Albuquerque by hot-air balloon and he knows it could be his last.

“My favorite thing is to watch his face as he’s seeing things happen,” his mother, Heidi Pierce said.

Ben was born more than four months premature, weighing just over a pound. Doctor’s worried that he would not survive.

Now, he is a healthy 9-year-old except for his eyes. Scar tissue from several surgeries is the reason he is slowly losing his eyesight.

But instead of sitting around waiting for it to happen, Ben is setting his sights on seeing the world and on his bucket list is Albuquerque.

Ben started his Albuquerque adventure from inside a hot-air balloon. Nine other balloonists joined in Saturday morning to give him a view of his own mini Balloon Fiesta.

Then it was time him to dress up in a firefighter suit and play one of Albuquerque’s heroes.

However, its the simple things that Ben wants to see that might surprise you, from a hot-air balloon ride to a lesson in making tortillas. A few minutes tossing flour around and he was an expert sort of.

Lastly, Ben could not leave without taking in the sight from the Sandia Peak Tramway.

“He told me that if he could only see one more place – he would want to see the redwoods or the grand canyon,” Heidi said.

Ben’s mom said his long wish list also includes a trip to Antarctica and the Sahara Desert. She says for now the are trying to visit places closer to their Texas home. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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