Hannah on the run to help Annabelle
4:18pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
A KIND-HEARTED teenager has completed a 10k run with her mum to raise money for a Bury youngster with an incurable and life-threatening condition.
Four-year-old Annabelle Griffin, of Wilby Close, Brandlesholme, suffers from life-threatening Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (VEDS) which means just a slight knock could mean a hospital visit.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Alderson, of Lomand Drive, Tottington, is friends with Annabelle’s older brother Ryan and follows the family’s online fundraising campaign, Annabelle’s Challenge.
Hannah, a student at Holy Cross College, ran in aid of Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, a charity which funds research and helps suffers from the rare genetic condition live full lives.
Alongside mum Donna, aged 46, and family friend Natalie Burke, aged 39, Hannah completed the race in 48 minutes — smashing their original £200 target by raising around £450.
She said: “After meeting Annabelle when being over at the Griffin household, I knew I wanted to help her in some way. She is such a lovely little girl who showed me a thing or two on the hula hoop so the least I could do was to raise money and awareness of EDS and Annabelle’s Challenge.”
Hannah, who previously ran for Bury Athletics Club, came 32nd out of 664 runners in the female open group and overall was 80th out of 1,387 runners.
School attendance officer Donna, who took part in the 5km version of the race, said: “I am very proud of my little girl Hannah andI found myself getting quite emotional watching her start the race.
“And as if we needed motivating, a special little lady turned up to support us with her family – thank you little miss Annabelle Griffin, you are a darling.”
Donna and Hannah now plan to continue fundraising by taking part in more runs in future – with mum and daughter both keen to improve their times.
Donna added: “Hannah dragged me out for a run early this morning so it makes sense to get back into it and get involved with some more charity runs soon.
“I work with a lot of children who cannot attend school due to illnesses and health problems – so it is fantastic to give something back to a charity which helps poorly youngsters.
Annabelle’s illness weakens the collagen in her body tissue, making her prone to spontaneous rupture of the organs or arteries.
She is one of the youngest children in the UK to have been diagnosed with VEDS and her parents, Jared and Sarah, face a daily battle to keep her safe.
Jared said: “The total raised by Annabelle’s Challenge so far is currently £7,476 and we are so grateful Bury people are putting themselves forward to help us raise awareness of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
“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.”
To make a donation: go to justgiving.com/AnnabellesChallenge-HannahAlderson and for more information on Annabelle’s Challenge go to annabelleschallenge.co.uk
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