If you ever needed more evidence of the global reach of the NBA, look no further than the story of Louis Corbett, a 12-year-old from New Zealand, and an avid Boston Celtics fan. Louis suffers from retinitus pigmentosa, a genetic eye disease that causes severe vision impairment — a disease that will ultimately lead to total blindness. Louis and his two siblings both suffer from the disease.
Okay, enough of the bad news, let’s get to the feel-good part: Louis’ story was featured in The New Zealand Herald, and word quickly spread to Celtics co-owners Wycliffe and Corrine Grousbeck, who also have a son, Campbell, who is blind and attends Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts. How did they find out about Louis, who lives on the opposite side of the planet? Social media, of course:
“We found out about Louis through the magic of social media and the fact that some of our followers knew about our connection to Perkins and tweeted the article to us.”
The Grousbecks are set to fly Louis and his family to Boston — 9,113 miles away, according to Google — to take in a Celtics game, which will likely be the highlight of months of frenzied travel, as Louis attempts to take in as much of the world as possible before total blindness sets in:
The family have spent the past few months trying to get Louis to see as much of the world as he can, after tests showed his sight was rapidly getting worse.
“What we’re trying to do is for Louis not only to see and experience as much as he can now, but for his future as well,” Mr. Corbett said.
“We want him to believe in himself and we want him to know that there are very generous people in this world. A lot of people are giving him a lot and we want him to know that he needs to give back too.”