Ben’s wish: Boy going blind sees the northern lights and makes a lifetime of memories

Ben Pierce, of Dallas, is only 9, but after a trip to Alaska last week, he now has lifetime of visual memories.

Born premature, weighing just over a pound, Ben had suffered numerous setbacks in his young life, chief among them being the gradual loss of his eyesight due to scar tissue from surgery. His doctors coached him to put together a “visual wish list” of all the things he’d like to see, and Ben decided that, among other things, he wanted to see the northern lights.

On a trip to Dallas this spring, Alaska Airlines Capt. Chris Cice heard Ben’s story on the news and knew he had to help. A few weeks later, Cice and Alaska Airlines surprised Ben and his family with tickets to travel to Fairbanks – one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights.

Watch: ABC Alaska 13 journalist Ryan Overton’s report on the family’s unforgettable trip.


  1. Great comments and feedback by everyone and Thank You! This trip for Ben and his family wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for all the hard work, and support from every employee at Alaska Airlines.

    Thank you so much!!!

    It also appears that the Pierce family has a new name for me.

    Capt. Chris

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