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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!

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