Carmela Chillery-Watson has a very rare muscle-wasting disease which is life-limiting
Dressed as Wonder Woman, she is embarking on a gruelling 2,000km walking challenge
Actress Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, has donated nearly £3,500
The REAL Wonder Woman actress has donated thousands of pounds in support of ‘my wonder girl’, as six-year-old Carmella Chillery-Watson embarks on a 2,000km walking challenge in search of her favourite superhero.
Gal Gadot, who stars as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Warner Bros film, donated an incredible £3,442 to Carmela’s JustGiving page yesterday (Thursday 10 September) to complete the fundraising target.
Gal’s generous donation means Carmela, who has a very rare muscle-wasting condition, smashed her £6,000 fundraising goal just 10 days into her gruelling walking challenge.
The donation came mere hours after Gal named six-year old Carmela as “My real wonder girl” in a tweet posted on her personal account. She said: “You’re a true hero. So inspiring and strong. I hope one day we get to meet each other. Until then I’m sending you lots of love and a big, big hug!”
Dressed as her favourite superhero, Wonder Woman, Carmela and her friends and family are virtually covering the 2,000km from her home in Devizes, Wiltshire to Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast of Italy – the filming location of the new Warner Bros film Wonder Woman 1984.
Carmela was thrilled with Gal’s donation and said: “Oh my goodness, my superhero actually donated to my page! Thank you so much, you have put a big smile on my face”.
Carmela and her mum Lucy started their challenge on September 1 and will virtually cover the distance throughout September before the film’s premiere on October 2.
She will be walking 300km on her specially designed crutches in what is her toughest challenge to date, as she covers ‘her equivalent’ of a marathon every day.
Lucy said: “We couldn’t believe it when we found out that Gal had made such a huge donation and are over the moon that we’ve smashed our target already. We were sitting on the sofa after a really tough day, and Carmela was absolutely chuffed when she heard the news. Walking 1km a day is the equivalent of a marathon for Carmela who cannot do things other children take for granted.
“She is unable to run, jump, and walk up steps or curbs. She has lost the ability to lift her arms above her head and has lost the strength in her neck. Simple tasks like scratching her head, itching her nose and brushing her teeth are a real battle. Walking the distance will be a huge personal challenge.
“But whilst her muscles are weak on the outside, her inner strength is unstoppable and her determination to live life to the full makes us all strong.”
She added: “Time is so precious for Carmela. She has lost five months in shielding and she desperately wants to complete her challenge before her condition robs her of her ability to walk. She started on the first day in September when she also returned to school, albeit just for a few hours.
“She is so determined to do all of this to raise money so that Muscular Dystrophy UK can continue to provide care and research into conditions for children like herself.”
Muscular Dystrophy CEO, Catherine Woodhead said: “We are absolutely delighted that Gal Gadot has made such a generous donation to Carmela’s Wonder Woman Walk, as well as making her smile, we are hugely grateful for her support, especially because COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK. This fundraising challenge will help us to support research into rare muscle-wasting conditions.
“We are currently co-funding a world class research project into Carmela’s condition, called LMNA-CMD. Carmela’s challenge will help us to get a step closer to our ultimate goal of finding treatments or cures for the 70,000 people who live with muscle-wasting conditions, and Gal’s donation and support is vital in helping us achieve this.”