A young girl with cerebral palsy is taking part in a charity climb up the highest mountain in England and Wales with her to raise money for her therapy and potential surgery.
Annabelle Carter, who is two-and-a-half years old, will join her family as they scale Mount Snowdon on Saturday, September 14 as part of an ongoing fundraising project with charity Just4Children. It is hoped Annabelle will one day be able to have surgery to improve her quality of life.
Rochelle Carter, Annabelle’s mother, said: “Annabelle still cannot sit, stand or walk so we are continuing to raise money for our main campaign to increase Annabelle’s strength, balance and mobility, so that we can then apply to see if she is a candidate for selective dorsal rhizotomy.”
Rochelle explained how this surgery would involve cutting the sensory nerve fibres which are sending incorrect signals to Annabelle’s brain, so her sitting ability would improve and she would have a greater chance of being able to stand and walk in the future.
She said: “If Annabelle is a candidate, the surgery would enable her greater independence later in life as it would remove the spasticity and tightness from her muscles, which is something we already battle with every day - and it will get worse as she grows. Without the surgery we may never reach these milestones which other children meet between six and 18 months of age.”
Annabelle will be joined on the climb by Rochelle, her dad Simon and her baby sister Isla, as well as her aunts, uncles, young cousins and family friends.
At 1,086 metres high, scaling Mount Snowdon is already no easy feat, but it will be extra challenging for the family due to Annabelle’s lack of mobility.
“Our primary aim at the moment is to get Annabelle as much therapy as possible, as this will help with the recovery after the surgery, if she has it, or it will simply help increase her mobility if the surgery is not possible,” Rochelle said.
Annabelle does daily activities to improve her core strength, as well as a combination of regular therapies including physiotherapy, aquatic therapy and occupational therapy. She also undergoes intensive therapy weeks every couple of months as funds allow, but Rochelle said unfortunately this is not enough. All proceeds will go to the campaign. Rochelle also appealed to businesses for raffle prizes or those willing to hold fundraising events. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annabelles-climb and www.facebook.com/AnnabelleJasminCarter