Lights, Camera, Action! 16-year-old Annabelle has always had a passion for acting. From beauty pageants to a role in the indie film "Little Miss Sunshine" she has always felt at home in the spotlight.
Despite her red carpet appearance this week and her substantial film and TV credits, life hasn’t been all glitz and glamour for 16-year old Annabelle.
In December 2012, she was diagnosed with two chronic inflammation diseases; Pars Planitis and Multiple Sclerosis. These conditions, along with other complicating factors, are causing Annabelle to lose her eyesight. It is a challenge that she bravely faces every day. Instead of allowing her diagnoses to hold her back, Annabelle decided to live each day to the fullest and remains focused on making her ultimate dream come true. She wished to be a celebrated actress – and a celebrated actress she would be…
Annabelle's wish reveal has been one surprise after another. It all started with an invitation received in the mail at Annabelle's home on the Big Island. Eurocinema invited Annabelle to be their special guest and attend their Film Festival Awards in Honolulu. A first-class flight to Oahu swiftly followed.
Annabelle's trip to the “doctor’s” office the next day turned out to be an appearance on the morning show at the KHON2 TV studio! Sitting next to Terry Hubbard, a Eurocinema Hawaii board member, Annabelle was surprised yet again with the news that in addition to being an honored guest at the 2014 Eurocinema awards, she would also be receiving an Honorary award at the gala!
“Oh my gosh!” she exclaimed, when Terry revealed this incredible surprise. She gave him a big hug and a heartfelt “Thank you!”
But what red-carpet experience would be complete without getting all glammed up? Terry surprised Annabelle with even more good news – a glam team from the community had come together to help Annabelle prepare for her red carpet appearance. Annabelle and her mom would get their hair, make-up and nails done in true starlet style prior to the prestigious award show. To top it all off, Annabelle would be wearing a beautiful gown custom-designed and donated by Ari Southiphong, from the show Project Runway!
“There is a sense of magic in the world of Hollywood, where scripts become blockbuster films; actors transform into believable characters and talent and storytelling come together to inspire generations. We are thrilled to help Annabelle see her dream realized at the 2014 EuroCinema Film Festival Awards Gala.” said EuroCinema Hawaii President, Jefferson Finney.
Following a full day of glam, Annabelle was ready for the show, but first the EuroCinema board members had a special gift to give her in a private meeting. They presented Annabelle with her Honorary award - for her amazing talent and unwavering bravery.
That evening, it was Annabelle’s time to SHINE! And shine she did. Walking down the red carpet in her beautiful white dress, her new Jimmy Choo shoes and stunning sparkling jewelry donated by a generous individual, Annabelle exuded the true star power of a Hollywood starlet! As she passed the cameras and flashing lights to enter the beautiful, historic Moana Surfrider Hotel, she knew in her heart that this was a night that she would remember forever. She watched actors and actresses take the stage to receive awards and give speeches, and although she wasn’t feeling well, Annabelle gathered up enough strength and courage to take her turn in the spotlight.
Annabelle took the stage with Australian actor Brenton Thwaites for one last surprise. The audience cheered loudly as Brenton introduced Annabelle and helped her open one last envelope that revealed an exciting conclusion to her wish journey! Annabelle would end her wish as any other celebrated actress would – on a luxurious vacation to relax and unwind in a beautiful place far from the paparazzi and their flashing camera bulbs. Annabelle's next chapter on her wish journey will take place on a cruise to the beautiful Mediterranean with her family!
Seeing her daughter beaming on stage brought Melissa, Annabelle’s mother, to tears. It was a moment that she knew Annabelle longed for her entire life and it was happening right before her eyes! “I could tell she didn’t want it to be over” she said. After the night had ended, Annabelle was absolutely over the moon. “This was the best night of my life!” she proclaimed. The magical night filled with stars, awards and glamour was over, but Annabelle’s story is not – her wish journey will continue with an adventurous sequel in the stunning Mediterranean!
To be continued…
Special Thanks: EuroCinema Hawaii, Enterprise, The Sheraton Waikiki, Kevin Lubera, Naillabo, Ari South, Macy’s, Watanabe Floral, Hard Rock Café, Jimmy Choo, Celebrity Tuxedos, Marissa Nagai, Susanne Kurisu,VIP transportation, Mark Ramelb Photography, Face & Art Beauty.