Brews and Barrels for Belle

To help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation, Belle Raisers are hosting their annual Brews and Barrels for Belle on Saturday, November 9 from 6 – 10 p.m.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, CF is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.
The Hanson family started the Belle Raisers Foundation in honor and support of their daughter, Annabelle, and held their first event in 2013.
“There still isn’t a cure and there is work still to be done, but we’re moving in the right direction,” Annabelle’s father, Mark, said.
Mark said, fortunately, Annabelle is able to have an active lifestyle, and with the help of modern medicine and medical devices, she has managed to stay relatively healthy.
“Anything we can do to keep her active and moving is good for her,” he said.
Mark noted that Annabelle is very active and is a Brownie in a Girl Scout Troop out of Stokesdale, plays soccer with the Oak Ridge Youth Association, and swam for the Abington Alligators.
“All of these activities that keep her moving and have a lot of cardiovascular fitness value are keeping her healthy,” he said, adding that Annabelle also ran and placed in the Fourth of July 5K earlier this year. “Her ability to not only participate but compete says so much about the medicine she’s on.”
He noted that in 2019 alone, Annabelle has taken more than 3,690 pills, spent the equivalent of more than 15 days doing physical therapy to clear her lungs, inhaled roughly 738 vials of medication using a nebulizer, and used an inhaler 984 times.
“You have to stay strict with medicine and nutrition, stay active and do your therapy, stay in a healthy environment, and a lot of it is luck,” he said. “It’s still a disease that can catch you when you least expect it.”
Mark added that there is no government funding to develop new treatments and medication for CF research, which is why events like this are important.
With the funds that have been raised, Mark said there have been some great things happening.
Currently, Annabelle is on a new medication, called Symdeko, a generation of medication that is treating the cause at the cellular level. Mark said Annabelle’s body is responding to the medication well.
“She has had fewer lung infections, which is a big deal because it’s one of the major problems with CF. It’s not a cure, but it’s definitely a medication that’s making a difference in her life because she feels better,” he said. “What’s really exciting is that the FDA just approved a new breakthrough therapy, Trikafta, for CF patients.”
Trikafta is the first triple combination therapy available to treat patients with the most common CF mutation. Trikafta is approved for 90 percent of patients, ages 12 and older.
“This is something that Annabelle will have access to in the next couple of years,” Mark stated.
He continued.
“We have a lot to be excited for and that’s why we continue to work hard to try to move this research forward for all CF patients.”
Recently, the Hanson family returned from Italy, which was sponsored by Make-A-Wish Central & Western NC.
Jessica shared that after being granted a wish from the Foundation, Annabelle chose to travel to Italy. After reading “Red Sails to Capri” and learning about Pompeii in school, Annabelle wanted to see the Blue Grotto and the ruins.
Mark encourages the community to attend Brews and Barrels for Belle and support the fight against CF.
“We hope people have a good time and they can leave knowing their participation is making an impact. We do our best to try to get around and say hi to as many people as we can,” he said. “A lot of our loyal guests have seen Annabelle’s story and her progress, and see that we are making a difference. We hope our event can make people feel good, and we like to share this story because we feel like it’s a positive one.”
The event is being held at the Holiday Inn Greensboro Airport. Tickets for the event are $40/each or 4/$140. Tickets include a tasting from 10 breweries, 8 wineries, and three distilleries, and food from seven local restaurants. The event will also include a silent auction and a 65 roses tree to benefit CF research and patient care program.
Silent auction items include tickets for sporting events, Blinkie lights, a tankless water heater from GMB Energy, a few Keurig coffee makers, a drone, Black Rifle coffee, wine baskets, date night packages that include childcare, and much more.
“We have something for everyone,” he remarked.
Mark noted that the event is sponsored by Terry Labonte Chevrolet, with Andy Kennedy from The Brewer’s Kettle as the event’s tasting glass sponsor
“Andy has been with us since the very first year. The Brewer’s Kettle is a very loyal supporter,” he said.
For more information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit www.cff.org. To purchase tickets, visit www.facebook.com/bbforb, where there is a button for purchasing tickets.

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