Dying Photographer Gets His Wish of Visiting a Leica Store

A 69-year-old photographer dying from a terminal lung disease recently got his wish of visiting a newly opened Leica Store.

The Straits Times reports that after freelance photographer Alan Lee read about the new store in the 5-star Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, visiting it became the #1 item on his bucket list.

Lee suffers from a respiratory illness called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and he’s currently being cared for at the Assisi Hospice in Singapore.

To make his dream come true, Lee’s caretakers carefully planned the special trip to preserve what’s left of Lee’s health. On Tuesday, Lee made the journey from the hospice to the Leica Store, breathing with the help of a portable oxygen concentration as he enjoyed a special one-hour tour.

“He flipped through photography books like Sebastiao Salgado’s Workers, Magnum Stories, Vietnam Inc by Philip Jones Griffiths and the 100 years of Leica photography captured in Eyes Wide Open,” the Straits Times writes. “He also viewed a photo exhibition in the gallery and got to caress as many Leica cameras as he wanted.”

Earlier this month, Lee also crossed another item off his bucket list: holding an exhibition of his photos showing what life is like in a hospice. A selection of 19 portraits was put on display at the hospice on August 2nd.

“These are not sad pictures, not sob pictures,” Lee tells the Strait Times. “They show there’s still a bit of life here and I hope people can see a bit of happiness here. Someone once said, if you can’t add days to your life, add life to your days.”

“I’m not ready to die, I didn’t come here to die, I came here to take photographs.”