Courageous Carmela is On A Roll

Nine-year-old fundraiser Carmela Chillery-Watson is making headlines once again, having inspired a second children’s book, signed up to catwalk The Bristol Fashion Show and won two awards in the space of a few months.

Carmela, who was diagnosed with LMNA congenital muscular dystrophy in 2017, is the subject of a new illustrated book, titled Courageous Carmela. Inspired by Carmela’s strength in the face of a cruel condition, mum Lucy penned the book, which documents the challenges her daughter faces living with muscular dystrophy in a world built for “normal” people and how she overcomes them with bravery and a positive attitude.  

Lucy says:

I wanted to illustrate the extra hurdles that kids like Carmela face on a day-to-day basis. For her, everyday tasks like getting on the bus, going to the park or walking up steps or curbs can be a struggle. But whilst her muscles are weak, her inner strength is not. 

It will be released on 27 October 2023 and profits from book sales will come to Muscular Dystrophy UK. To be one of the first to get a copy, make a preorder.  

 

Role model 

LMNA congenital muscular dystrophy affects just one in a million children, who often have a limited life expectancy. There is currently no cure for this condition, which is why Carmela and her family are keen to fundraise as much as possible for scientific research.  

Carmela experiences muscle weakness and uses mobility aids but that won’t stop her taking to the catwalk at The Bristol Fashion Show using her walking frame this November. The Bristol Fashion Show is generously supporting Carmela and her fundraising for us  with proceeds from ticket sales. Buy tickets for the show. Her mum tells us:

One of Carmela’s dreams is to be seen on a high street shop poster to help spread the idea of inclusive fashion and inspire young children like her, so taking part in The Bristol Fashion Show is something she’s super excited about,

She soaks up the attention and atmosphere. As a family we want to help Carmela and other children with muscular dystrophy to stay strong and fight for a cure.

 

Star citizen 

Earlier this month, Carmela visited The Palace of Westminster to receive her British Citizen Youth Award. She is one of 24 young people from across the UK that were handpicked for making a positive impact on their communities and wider society. She was presented the BCyA Medal of Honour on 12 October 2023. 

The ‘Wonder Girl’ is on a roll – in September she also won a bravery award at the BBC Wiltshire Make A Difference Awards

Carmela earnt the nickname after walking 10km every day for a month dressed as Wonder Woman back in 2020. She has raised more than £400,000 for the charity since she was diagnosed. Prince William and David Beckham are amongst the public figures Carmela has met in honour of her incredible fundraising feats.  

To learn more about Carmela’s story, visit musculardystrophyuk.org/carmela 

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Carmela Chillery-Watson, nine, will take to the catwalk at The Bristol Fashion Show on 19 November (Credit: Mark Dolman Photography)