Young woman stands in front of waterfront

Growing up with Holly

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Holly Bennett has been part of the CNIB Foundation family since she was barely old enough to walk. Your support means we’ve been there at every stage of her life, cheering her on, supporting her and helping her build skills and independence.

Now 18, Holly is a confident, independent and talented young woman. We’re so proud to have been there with her.
When Holly was two years old, she was diagnosed with oculocutaneous albinism, an eye condition that left her with serious sight loss.

“As new parents, we had no idea how to deal with our daughter’s vision loss,” says Holly’s mother, Andrea. She says the CNIB Foundation was there “every step of the way,” providing audio books and accessible toys, as well as social opportunities. Holly grew to have the confidence to travel independently to school and in the community.

By the time she was six, Holly was already breaking down barriers as a CNIB Foundation Ambassador. You heard her voice on public service announcements about life with blindness. From childhood, she was a powerful public speaker to other kids, dispelling blindness myths.

Holly worked with one of our itinerant teachers who helped her out in the classroom. In summer, she attended camp for kids with sight loss where she worked with another CNIB Foundation specialist one-on-one, learning skills that would stay with her for the rest of her life.

Last year, we were proud to be there for another big milestone in Holly's life, when she moved to Newfoundland, entering Memorial University’s fine arts program.

"I love it. I'm learning so much and I've made a lot of friends," says Holly. 

Up next, teacher's college and a career as an art teacher. 

With each milestone, we'll be there for Holly when she needs us, every step of the way.