East Londoner Joanna Marcella is using her enthusiasm for the fashion industry to raise money and awareness of the condition Angelman Syndrome. The syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system in sufferers, causing severe mental and physical disabilities. Those who have the disorder will typically have profound special needs, a decrease or complete lack in verbal skills, some physical disability, epilepsy and sleep disturbance, among many other symptoms and complications.
Currently there is no known cure and little research on the condition, due to a lack of awareness and funding. To combat this problem, Joanna is holding the first Creative Arts Event and Fashion show in aid of Angelman Syndrome. As well as producing the event, Joanna is also the founder of the FDC Young Designer Awards, meaning the show will no doubt play host to a huge range of talented designers.
Irish actor Colin Farrell has worked tirelessly for years to raise awareness of the condition, following the diagnosis of one of his sons. Commenting on the actor’s work for the disorder, Joanna said “I’m encouraged by Colin Farrell’s mission to raise more awareness about Angelman Syndrome. As a celebrity he is able to catch the attention of the media with the story of his own son.”
Joanna, whose Grandson is a sufferer of the condition, added: “I too am extremely passionate about this cause and want to do all I can to raise awareness for angels like my grandson. As a designer and the relative of a little ‘angel’ I, and other members of the fashion and creative industries can use this showcase to raise funds for the research, which will lead to treatments and eventually a cure.”
There will also be a host of creative industry performers at the event, including another fashion show featuring designs from Francesca Phipps, Leonora Asomanin, Alexandra Ziedina and Jerry Grocravla of TRUE Soldier. Money raised from the event will be donated to ASSERT, the Angelman Syndrome Support Education & Research Trust. If you’re interested in attending this incredible event, it will take place on Sunday 31st January at 7pm in the Hackney Attic and Bar (Picture House, 270 Mare Street, London, E8 1HE). Tickets can be purchased here.