Chronic illness ignites pastry chef dream


When Anneliese first became unwell at nine-years-old, doctors could not pinpoint why.

She began experiencing joint pain that gradually became so severe that it was difficult to even get out of bed in the morning. 

Anneliese was referred to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in the hope of finding a diagnosis and ultimately a treatment but this process wasn’t quick. For three years Anneliese underwent vigorous testing before doctors had an answer. Anneliese had developed an extremely complex and difficult to diagnosis autoimmune disorder which causes the immune system to mistakenly attack itself.

During this difficult time searching for a diagnosis, Anneliese had to learn how to manage her pain and discovered cake decorating was an outlet that allowed her to do this. Anneliese began decorating cakes at just 10-years-old and as the years have progressed, so have her abilities.

Since diagnosis, medication has helped to manage Anneliese’s condition but cake decorating remains not only a pain management strategy but also an avid hobby, which she is continuing to excel at.

This week she showcased her talent, making a Bandaged Bear themed cake to help The Children’s Hospital at Westmead officially launch the annual Bandaged Bear Appeal.

Anneliese’s Mum, Louise, said since learning about her condition, being involved in Chronic Illness Peer Support Program (CHiPS) at the Hospital has been a huge support and making this cake was a way to give back.

“Being involved in CHiPS has helped Anneliese so much, it has been a massive support for her; being able to be around and talk to other kids who understand what it’s like to have a chronic illness, so she was thrilled to be able to make a cake for such a special cause,” Louise said.

This year, Anneliese is completing her HSC—a major milestone in itself—with hopes of then pursuing a career as a pastry chef.


Do something amazing #forsickkids this March by supporting the Bandaged Bear Appeal.