I first met Annabelle at a Bury FC match back in February 2015. She was kicking a football around by the side of the pitch in her big red coat with her two big brothers. She was set to be a mascot for ‘The Shakers’ for their game against Hartlepool United. I had a lovely chat with Annabelle’s parents Sarah and Jared Griffin and they were more than happy to tell me about Annabelle and her charity.
Annabelle has been diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). This form of EDS is life threatening and Annabelle has to be very careful about what activities she can get involved in. This is due to the extremely high risk of arterial rupture as well as severe bruising and skin fragility. If you want to find out more about the condition please visit the charity website. Thankfully, Annabelle can still enjoy playing with her friends and of course singing along & watching Frozen!! Annabelle’s Challenge is a registered charity to raise awareness and funds for research into the condition and they frequently host events such as family fun days, Frozen themed tea parties and Abseiling challenges down the Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill. Click here if you wish to donate to such a wonderful charity.
After spending time at Bury with Annabelle and her amazing family, I managed to get in contact with them and they asked me to photograph their ‘Las Vegas’ Charity Ball in May 2015 in celebration of their 1 year anniversary as a registered charity. I was more than happy to do so and it was a brilliant night! The Village Hotel in Bury hosted the event with lovely American style food, the Bolton Lions Club provided a casino for guests to try and get lucky at some of the different tables and Emilia and the Theatre Dance Studio team provided wonderful entertainment.
It is an absolute privilege getting to know Annabelle and her family. They are so kind and caring. You can’t help but smile when you see Annabelle with her glowing personality and charm. Since the Las Vegas Ball, I have had the pleasure of covering other events for the charity including: a family fun day and Annabelle reprising her role as a mascot for Bury FC when they played against Premiership team Leicester City in the Capital One Cup. I certainly look forward to working with Annabelle and the team in the future and I am so proud to support this amazing charity.