Six-year-old girl with muscular dystrophy smashes fundraising target inspired by Wonder Woman

  • Report by Steve Hardy

A six-year-old from Wiltshire who has a very rare form of muscular dystrophy and is taking on a huge challenge inspired by Wonder Woman, has smashed her fundraising target.

Carmela Chillery Watson's efforts have helped to raise close to £8,000, which is £2,000 more than her original target.

Her Wonder Woman Challenge came to the attention of Gal Gadot, the actor who plays the superhero. She tweeted her support.

Carmela is raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK by covering 300km in 30 days with her mum, Lucy.

The family is from Devizes but have been continuing their efforts while on holiday in Cornwall.

Carmela's dad, Darren Chillery-Watson, made headlines when he decided to live in the shed to keep his daughter safe at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Carmela was diagnosed with LMNA Congenital Muscular Dystrophy in 2017. Her condition and abilities will deteriorate over time and she might not survive to adulthood.

Her mother, Lucy, explains: "It's on the very severe spectrum. It's one in every million babies that get it. Worldwide it's just a handful.

"It's a muscle wasting condition. It weakens all the skeletal muscles. It will affect her heart and lungs in the long run but eventually children that are born fine with this condition will lose their ability to walk later."

Six-year-old Carmela puts on a Wonder Woman pose for the camera. Credit: ITV West Country

Carmela's strength has already started to deteriorate and it is important for her and her family to do the walk while she still can.

Lucy says, "We've lost a lot of the arm strength. She struggles to lift her arms even to scratch her head, even to hold an ice cream, so this is really a big sort of personal achievement for her."

Carmela is a massive fan of Wonder Woman who inspires her to 'keep fighting to stay strong and fight on'.

She would love to meet her heroine and came up with the idea of covering the equivalent of the 2,000km distance from her home near Devizes in Wiltshire to Wonder Woman's fictional home in Italy, featured in the film Wonder Woman 1984 which is out in October.

Carmela is covering 300km of that 2,000km on crutches and wheelchair, while friends and supporters are making up the rest with walks of their own.

The money will go to research into her condition.

Carmela is covering 10km a day during September to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK Credit: ITV West Country

Find out more about Carmela's challenge on her fundraising page.