The 16-year-old was a dancer and gymnast before a joint condition known as hypermobility started affecting her ability to walk.
The teen eventually needed surgery to treat the condition, and during the long recovery process, was not able to walk.
Holly was 12 at the time of the initial diagnosis.
"It was a long and slow process, and there were a lot of setbacks," she said.
Now, having made a full recovery, which meant learning how to walk again, Whaling says she's setting her sights on the upcoming modelling competition.
"The final will feel like a celebration of myself and how hard I have worked".
Watch the video above for more.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
Don't miss a story!
For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Parent24 newsletter.