Fitness fanatics take on Tough Mudder for four-year-old Annabelle Griffin
FITNESS freaks from across Greater Manchester are being called upon to take part in a gruelling obstacle course for a youngster with a life-threatening disease.
Annabelle Griffin, aged four, of Wilby Close, Brandlesholme, has Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (VEDS) — an extremely rare condition which means the slightest knock could send her to hospital.
The incurable illness weakens the collagen in Annabelle’s body tissue, making her prone to spontaneous rupture of the organs or arteries.
Her parents Jared and Sarah face a daily battle to keep their daughter, one of the youngest children to have been diagnosed with VEDS in the UK, safe.
They launched online campaign Annabelle’s Challenge to raise awareness about this rare condition and now are searching for a team to take part in the North West’s Tough Mudder challenge on October 5.
Annabelle’s father Jared said: “The Tough Mudder team is named ‘Blood, Sweet & Stupidity’ — so far there are five members and we want as many people as possible who have the courage to join them to take part.
“There is a universal lack of understanding and awareness of VEDS in medical circles at all levels. It is important to our family to raise money to help fund a national conference to educate health professionals on the condition.”
Tough Mudder is a hardcore 12-mile obstacle course designed by the Special Forces to test the strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie of participants.
Teams must battle through barriers including 12-foot walls, underground mud tunnels, icy water pools, fields of live wires carrying 10,000 volts of electricity and trenches of blazing straw.
One couple taking part is Paul and Claire Rathmill, whose son Ben is in Annabelle’s class at Woodbank Primary School.
Paul said: “I have taken part in a number of 10k runs and I was looking for a new challenge — the Tough Mudder looked fun and totally different to anything we have done before.
“We decided to do this for Annabelle as not only is she in my son’s class but it was our chance to support a local cause.”
There is no maximum number of entrants for the team, who will tackle the course on the Cholmondeley Estate in Malpas, Cheshire, but participants must register by September 5.
All funds raised for Annabelle’s Challenge go directly to Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, a registered charity.
For more information on Annabelle’s Challenge: go to annabelleschallenge.co.uk To sponsor the Blood, Sweet & Stupidity team: go to justgiving.com/muddyAJ
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