Cute little Annabelle Potts is five years old. While her peers may be doing school orientations this week as they trot off to big school next year, she’s facing the biggest fight of her life.
Annabelle is battling an aggressive, and sadly, fatal form of childhood brain cancer.
But while she can’t smile much these days, thanks to a paralysed cheek for one, there’s one thing that is making her giggle: watching people suck on lemons for her #lemonfacechallenge. And we are so here for it, too, Annabelle!
The new ice bucket challenge
Remember the ice bucket challenge a few years back that went viral? That was to raise awareness and funds to research ALS. It was huge and everyone from celebrities to school kids were doing it.
Well now there is a new challenge doing the rounds, and little Annabelle is bringing it here to Australia to raise awareness of her cancer.
A cure for DIPG
The type of brain cancer Annabelle has is called ‘diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma’ or DIPG. DIPG is devastating. It steals lives, and young lives at that. But not many of us have heard of it.
This is because while brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease, it is also the least funded.
Annabelle and her parents, Kathie and Adam Potts are on a mission to change that though.
Everyone can suck on lemons
They have established the #lemonfacechallange – where people upload hilarious videos of themselves biting into a quarter lemon and pulling a sour smile with the yellow rind as teeth -something that cracks little Annabelle up every time.
So far the challenge has caught on with The Today show ringing the family to say they’d be broadcasting the weather live from the lawns of Parliament House, in conjunction with Canberra’s MIX 106.3 to help rally support and send a message to our leaders that more funding is desperately needed.
Running groups, school groups and families all turned up to the lawns to take part in the #lemonfacechallenge that day.
The West Tigers and even The Wiggles have also taken on the challenge.
When Annabelle had a request the other day for people to do the lemon face challenge to cheer her up, so many of you stepped up including the amazing Wiggles. 💜🍋 💛🍋 💙🍋 ❤️To help Annabelle and other kids with DIPG, all you have to do is:1) Record yourself eating a lemon wedge2) Explain that you are doing it to raise awareness for DIPG3) Share your video on social media and nominate some friends to do it. 4) Hashtag #loveforannabelle, #dipgawareness, #lemonfacechallenge5) Dont forget to make it a public post so we can show Annabelle and make her smile❤️You have all heard of the ice bucket challenge, it went viral a few years ago to raise awareness and funds to research ALS. I am SO pleased to let you all know, there is the ‘lemon face challenge’ to raise awareness for DIPG!! This is incredible! It is the most awareness DIPG has ever gotten! This WILL make a difference! America is doing it, let’s make it viral in Australia 🇦🇺Please participate and share your videos. It is a fun way to raise awareness to a devastating disease.If you are too scared to do the challenge and would like to make a donation which will go directly to DIPG research in Australia, please donate to the Isabella and Marcus foundation: https://donorbox.org/the-isabella-and-marcus-foundation 😉Please share this post to make people aware that brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and is the least funded. This must change!💜💖💜https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/wiggles-and-wests-tigers-accept-annabelles-lemon-face-challenge/news-story/fdb572578655b5934a8b390840801db6
Posted by Love for Annabelle on Saturday, 10 November 2018
A special challenge from a special fan and our boys have accepted! 🍋Learn more about Annabelle's story and fight against brain cancer, and how the #LemonFaceChallenge came to be ≫ http://bit.ly/LemChallenge
Posted by Wests Tigers on Sunday, 11 November 2018
We’re doing the #LemonFaceChallenge this morning to raise awareness for children’s brain cancer! We’d love you to join in! Bite into a lemon, take a selfie and post your photo in the comments below! 😁🍋 #9Today
Posted by TODAY on Monday, 12 November 2018
Even Annabelle’s preschool bestie took it on.
Lemon Challenge for Love for Annabelle supporting the kids with Brain Cancer, DIPG. If you can, pls do this Lemon Challenge to help raise awareness too.
Posted by Jas Ho on Sunday, 4 November 2018
Moving heaven and earth for Annabelle
When Annabelle’s parents were told the average survival time with DIPG is just nine months, they did what any desperate parent would do. They attempted to buy more time with their precious daughter.
They have even flown to Mexico to trial experimental chemotherapy. This has come at a cost though as each treatment is about $30,000 per go. Annabelle had ten of these and while the tumour had shrunk to the point it could no longer be detected in March 2018, it has come back now.
Take on the challenge
If you want to make Annabelle smile and help this brave little girl and family to raise awareness of DIPG, simply:
1) Video yourself eating a lemon wedge
2) Explain that you are doing it to raise awareness for DIPG
3) Share your video on social media and nominate some friends to do it.
4) Hashtag #loveforannabelle, #dipgawareness, #lemonfacechallenge
5) Don’t forget to make it a public post so Annabelle can see it and laugh❤️
Also, you can make a donation to the charity hoping to find a cure for DIPG by contacting the Isabella and Marcus foundation.
When life gives you lemons …
Life may have given her lemons, but Annabelle and her parents sure know how to make lemonade by raising awareness of this devastating condition. As Annabelle’s mum, Kathie Potts told News.com:
“I’ve done all I can now. I’ve rallied at the lawns of Parliament House but awareness equals funding which equals treatment.”
We hope Annabelle’s #lemonfacechallenge results in helping to find a cure for this awful, awful childhood cancer.