Caldicot girl inspires choir's fundraising

South Wales Argus: Four year old Annalese Gosling has a rare condition called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), which means her body keeps producing bone, in muscles and soft tissues.  Pictured is Annalese dressed ready for a charity event at the Celtic Manor Res Four year old Annalese Gosling has a rare condition called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), which means her body keeps producing bone, in muscles and soft tissues. Pictured is Annalese dressed ready for a charity event at the Celtic Manor Res

A CALDICOT girl diagnosed with a rare condition which affects one in two million people was the inspiration for a local choir's latest concert.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir raised £600 towards the Friends of Oliver charity which seeks to find a cure for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive (FOP), a condition which affects little Annalese Gosling.

As a result of her FOP, four-year-old Annalese’s body is creating a second skeleton with will eventually render her immobile. Although the gene that causes it was identified in 2006, it remains incurable.

Speaking about the concert, Annalese's mum Leanne Hill, who helped organise raffle prizes at the event, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. It was a really good night.”

A member of the male voice choir, Ron Powell, donated £200 himself to Friends of Oliver at the concert.

Musical director Sian Hatton, assistant musical director Shirley Ann James, John Nicholson and Stephen Berry accompanied the choir. It performed an eclectic mix of Welsh hymns, songs by Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Elton John and Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.

The event added to a large number of other fundraising events held by the choir in the past which has included raising £500 for a neo-natal unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport for the Seren Appeal and a further £500 was raised with another open evening for The Victims of Chernobyl Children’s Trust.

Explaining Annalese condition, Ms Hill said: “There is no treatment at all. That is why we’re doing all the fundraising now. There might not be a cure in Annalese’s lifetime but maybe there will be one in the future."

She added: “She currently visits a consultant at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff every six weeks. And she can’t go to the toilet on her own; she can’t go out and play because of the dangers of being bumped. “

Since learning of Annalese’s condition in March after two years of tests, friends and family have helped to raise about £1,500 for Friends of Oliver.

Ms Hill is planning to do a skydive in September and nine friends will be running the Severn Bridge Half Marathon in August, three of them dressed up as characters from the children’s TV programme Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom.

For more information on the choir, visit caldicotmalevoicechoir.co.uk and to donate to Annalese’s appeal, visit http://bit.ly/1kCWsjy.

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