A GODSHILL woman with a rare form of muscular dystrophy has inspired a new song which she hopes will help others going through challenges in their lives.

American singer-songwriter Hilary Roberts recorded Fight to the Other Side for Annie Blake and the song was released last week.

Annie was surprised with the song when she attended Hilary’s birthday party in LA last month.

The 57-year-old said: “I went to LA thinking it was just her birthday party and then was presented with this song.

“It still feels like I’m in a dream state. It is not something that happens to anyone. I’m very privileged and blessed.”

The pair’s transatlantic friendship has blossomed over the last ten years and Hilary comes to visit Annie and her husband Kevin.

Hilary says Annie and Kevin have always kept encouraging her to sing during difficult periods in her life.

“Annie kept encouraging me to do it. I felt like it was maybe too late for me, I was too old,” said Hilary who was working on her music when Annie was diagnosed with the condition about two years ago.

In December, she was visiting for a promotional tour and says Annie, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy about two years ago, had told her that “If I die tonight that would be just fine with me”, which Hilary explains was “devastating” to hear and spurred her on to create a song for Annie.

She called her manager Felicia Greer and Damon Sharpe, a Grammy award-winning producer who has worked with Ariana Grande, Anastasia and J-Lo. Hilary said: “I called them and said we have to do something so we all wrote the song and presented it to them.”

Hilary says the song has been an inspiration to Annie, adding: “My friend no longer wants to take herself out and now wants to make a difference. She was that way before this all happened and it’s just encouraged her. It’s already started to save at least one life.”

“I wanted my music to make a difference and save lives,” she added. “This particular song has been a reciprocation of love to someone who helped save me in other ways. There is nothing greater, there is no honour greater than that.”

Annie shared the video of the song on her Facebook page and says it went “viral”, adding: “We all have life’s challenges, things that get thrown at all of us, and it is just a great song to say hang on, things will improve. It is touching a lot of hearts. It is inspiring others to carry on.”

Describing the moment she found out she had muscular dystrophy, she said: “I just broke down. I thought it was a childhood disease.

“You can’t do the normal things that you would like to do. The thing I love to do is walking and I now have to scooter everywhere. It really has turned our life upside down.”

“It is true what Stephen Hawking says ‘concentrate on what you can do not what you can’t’,” said Annie. “The hardest thing for me has been to ask for help,” said Annie who also says the condition has been quite “progressive” and in a year and half she has lost the use of her legs.

“From the outside I look fine because it is the skeletal muscles so things like standing are very difficult and walking is difficult.”

She said: “I would love to get this song out there because it is so inspirational for people no matter what they are going through.”