What would you do if you found out you were going blind? Lilly Diuble, an 11 year old from Manchester, Michigan, has known since she was a little kid that she could one day lose her eyesight. It's a terrifying possibility for anyone to have to face, especially at such a young age. But rather than wallow in self-pity and fear, Lilly has courageously dedicated herself to helping others.
Over the past five years, Lilly has raised close to $100,000 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.
"I started volunteering because I have a genetic disorder that leads me to go blind and deaf," Lilly said.
Every year, the FFB organizes a VisionWalk, where participants organize teams for a 5k walk in order to raise money for research. Lilly rallied members of her community together and wound up raising over $16,000 for the organization in her first year. Inspired by bringing the community together around the cause, Lilly and her family decided to keep up the effort.
Over five years, Lilly and has raised close to $100,000 in donations with the help of her family and the local community. Lilly has also served as the youth chairperson for the local VisionWalk for the past three years, and makes speeches to raise awareness for the diseases and the foundation.
Lilly's efforts have earned her recognition at both a local and national level. In 2014, she was an honoree at the Prudential Spirit of the Community awards, selected from a field of over 30,000 youths.
“I am not a doctor or a scientist, so I can’t personally cure people,” Lilly said. “But I can help by spreading the word and raising money for the cause.”