Complete Strangers Give Once-in-a-Lifetime Gift to 11-Year-Old Who May Soon Go Blind and Deaf

An 11-year-old with a genetic syndrome that threatens to rob her of her sight and hearing has received some unexpected anonymous kindness. 


Lilly is a seventh grader at Manchester Middle School in Michigan. She has Usher’s syndrome, which is an inherited condition resulting in hearing impairment and progressive vision loss, according to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Currently, Lilly relies on hearing aids and glasses, but she could possibly lose both her hearing and her sight completely one day, The Manchester Enterprise reported.

“I can hear well with my hearing aids, and I can see OK with my glasses,” she told the outlet. “But with time things could change.”

Despite this, Lilly refuses to let anything get her down and has set her sights on raising money to help fight the condition. Her tireless efforts earned her a spot in America’s top 10 youth volunteers for the 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards held in Washington, D.C.

The inspiring kid, who’s raised more than 100,000 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, has a list of places she wants to see before she faces the potential of losing her sight, according to NBC Nightly News. And thanks to some anonymous donors, Lilly is crossing those destinations off her list.

After being featured on NBC Nightly News last month, a few viewers decided to send Lilly and her family around the world to places she’s always wanted to see. First, the family went to San Francisco to see the Golden Gate bridge. Next up will be Hawaii, and then France, Italy and England.


“I felt like the happiest person in the world, because there are people who want to help me with what I’m going through,” Lilly told NBC.

After all she’s done to give back, these trips are a much-deserved reward for Lilly, who has many obstacles yet to overcome. But when someone brings up the possibility of going both blind and deaf in the future, Lilly has a great answer:

“Well,” she told The Detroit News. “I think I just have to kick some butt in the meantime.”

Happy travels, Lilly!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Live Mighty. Like us on Facebook.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Here’s What Happened When I Decided to Reach Out to Strangers

In the 1980s there was a national advertising campaign for the phone company AT&T. Reach out, reach out and touch someone! Reach out, call up and just say hi, urged the happy singing voice on the television commercial. The campaign was a huge success that resulted in a large increase in sales for the phone company. This [...]

I Used to Believe in Pet Rocks and That Plaid Pants Were the Best

When I was a little kid, I believed in a lot of things. I believed in magic, wonder, in the power of wishes and kisses, and that I – and all of us – have the power to change the world. I still believe. Back then, though, I thought bad people only came in windowless [...]

Justin Timberlake Interrupts Concert to Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Fan With Autism

When the parents of an 8-year-old boy with autism learned that he wanted to go see a Justin Timberlake concert for his birthday, they had no idea that JT would give their son the best surprise he could have imagined. Earlier this week, during the show in San Jose, California, Timberlake asked the whole crowd [...]

Epilepsy, You Picked the Wrong Dad

A long time ago, I made a promise to Livy that I would always be there for her. I have kept that promise. Now it is time to take it one step further. It is not enough to just be there for her, something must be done. Lemonade for Livy was inspired by Livy and [...]