Anne Twist attends Denise Welch’s Charity Ball benefiting the GEM Appeal
November 20, 2016: Anne Twist, mum of Harry and Gemma Styles, attended the 15th annual Charity Ball, hosted by her friend Denise Welch. Ms.Welch is a well known actress and tv personality, best known for her tv role on Loose Women. She is also the mum to Matt Healy of music group 1975. Denise has invested much of her time supporting GEM Appeal by raising awareness and donations hosting a huge charity ball event at year’s end. This 15th year’s theme “New York Winter Wonderland” was held at Event City in Manchester and was attended by many celebrities, well-known athletes, business associates and sponsors of the charity. This year’s popular event had an ice skating rink as well as fine food and dancing. (Pictured below is Denise’s entrance this year, photo credit to Kenneth Cole).
The GEM Appeal was founded in 1994 by Karen Johnson, a young mother whose two sons had a rare genetic disorder which was slowly taking their lives. Karen was approached by a Consultant Pediatrician at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Dr. Ed Wraith, to join him in raising funds for research into the disorder that her two sons Simon and Mike were dying from. At the time there was no known treatment and very little research into these diseases, giving no hope for children diagnosed with these rare genetic disorders. (Below is the GEM Appeal’s logo and pic of Karen’s two sons.)
By 1999, with the help of Dr. Wraith, Karen Johnson and several other parents of children with similar disorders, had raised the first £250,000.000 from various events and private donations for the research to begin. Unfortunately, Karen’s two sons did not benefit from this as they both died around this time at age 12 years. There were trials of treatment with enzyme replacement therapy which became available to others with promising results. Karen’s tireless work to help get much needed research into the area of genetic disorders was awarded by two Pride of Britain awards! One for helping to raise millions for the charity and this year, Karen was awarded the national Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award. She was presented her award by the Gary Barlow of Take That, pictured with her here (photo credit to the Pride of Britain website).
Now the GEM Appeal has other fundraising friends joining, like patrons Denise Welch and Tim Healy who have contributed enormously to the success by bringing awareness and endorsing the work of the foundation. Denise Welch’s charity ball is an event that brings much needed funds to the GEM Appeal. For more information about the GEM Appeal and how you can help, check out their website here