Carmela’s Stand Up to Muscular Dystrophy
1588. Carmela Chillery-Watson
Carmela Chillery-Watson, aged 6, from Devizes, has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, and has been fundraising for ‘Muscular Dystrophy UK’ for the last three years, raising over £50,000.
Carmela was diagnosed at the age of three with L-CMD, a progressive muscle-wasting disease which weakens every muscle over time, affecting the ability to walk, use arms and hands, and weakens the heart and respiratory muscles, leading to an average life expectancy into late teenage years. Determined to stay as active as she can, and to help fund research into L-CMD, Carmela took on a 300km challenge in 2019, walking a kilometre every day for 30 days with her Mum Lucy while dressed as her superhero Wonder Woman. Most recently, Carmela has started a new ‘150 One a Day Challenge’, posting a physical therapy exercise online everyday until June 2021 and continuing to fundraise for ‘Muscular Dystrophy UK’ whilst inspiring others during lockdown.
In a personal letter to Carmela, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“With your ‘150 One a Day Challenge’ you have covered an astonishing distance, inspired others to keep active and raised over £50,000 for ‘Muscular Dystrophy UK’.
“I know you have dressed up as ‘Wonder Woman’ for some of your challenges, but the true superhero is you.”
Danny Kruger, Carmela’s local MP for Devizes, said:
“Carmela is an inspiration to me and to thousands of people all over the country. Her daily fitness tips are brilliant and a sign of her great strength and huge spirit. She is a true point of light in these dark times and I’m so grateful to her for the encouragement she gives to so many people.”
“Thank you Boris, this is awesome news, I can’t believe it, it’s so amazing. Thank you so much.”
Catherine Woodhead, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), said:
“Everyone at MDUK is thrilled that Carmela’s outstanding fundraising efforts for the charity have been recognised by the Prime Minister. To date, Carmela and her family have raised nearly £50,000 for MDUK. That is a huge amount of money, made even more impressive when you remember that Carmela, who lives with a very rare and life-limiting muscle-wasting condition, is just six years old. Carmela’s muscles get weaker every single day, yet she embraces each new fundraising challenge with unwavering perseverance, determination and her glorious smile. The money Carmela has raised helps fund research into potential treatments and cures for others just like her, and MDUK is incredibly grateful for her hard work. Well done Carmela on your Points of Light award!”
Pictured below: Carmela on her 300km in 30 days challenge.