Hundreds of students at Ecole Clement-Cormier in Bouctouche, N.B. are pinching their pennies to send a visually-impaired teen to China for an experimental stem cell treatment. 

The 16-year-old has been without sight since birth. His family hopes he will be able to see their faces for the very first time when he returns to Canada.  

“To me, it is not that bad. I am blind, whatever, I live my life,” says Guillaume LeBlanc.

The group raised $5,000 in pennies, along with other coins and cheques to send their friend to China.

“I do everything I want right now, but still, there is stuff I can’t do and I wanted to do like play hockey league, drive cars and stuff like that,” says LeBlanc.

Each year the school raises money to support a cause. A total of eight schools in the area pitched in.

“We are giving this guy a chance to see, and he is our friend, so it is even better,” says student council president Audrey Gagnon.

LeBlanc’s family says, if the treatment is a success, he will be able to see them for the first time.

“It is going to be a big thing, but most of all, it is going to be good for him, because Guillaume really wants to go to university,” says LeBlanc’s mother, Nadine Caissie.

The stem cell treatment has no guarantees, as it is still in the experimental stages and is not available in North America.

“I just can’t wait to see the sun and colours and trees,” says LeBlanc.

Almost $20,000 of the $35,000 needed has been raised.

The fundraising continues with a benefit dance this weekend.

With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell