Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who stars as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Warner Bros film, named six-year old Carmela as ‘My real wonder girl’ in a tweet posted on her personal account today (Thursday 10 September).
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, she, her family and friends, are on their way to virtually covering the 2,000 kilometres 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 absolutely thrilled, replying:
Oh my goodness, my superhero sent me a message! Thank you so much you have really put a bit smile on my face
Carmela and her mum Lucy started their gruelling challenge on September 1. They plan to virtually cover the distance in a 30-day challenge journey before the film’s premiere on October 2.
She and her team 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.
It is now a race against time before brave and gutsy Carmela’s fragile muscles give way and she will have to revert to a wheelchair.
Walking 1km a day is the equivalent of a marathon for her Carmela who cannot do things other children take for granted. I am so very proud of Carmela’s happy disposition every day throughout this trek. She is walking 10km daily with my help.
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.
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 is 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.
The family have enlisted friends to join them to enable them to complete the full distance during the 30 days.
Muscular Dystrophy UK Chief Operating Officer, Catherine Woodhead said
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK. But we’re still committed to making every day count for the 70,000 people in the UK with a muscle-wasting condition. Carmela’s fundraising challenge will help us to support research into rare muscle wasting conditions, like Carmela’s. We are currently co-funding a world class research project into Carmela’s condition, called LMNA-CMD. Her challenge will help us to get a step closer to our ultimate goal of finding a treatments or cure for muscle-wasting conditions.
Gal Gadot, 36, born 30 April 1985, is an Israeli actress, model, and producer who was ranked by among the world’s highest-paid actresses by Time magazine in 2018.
Aged 18, in 2004, she was crowned Miss Israel. She then served two years in the Israel Defense Forces as a fitness/combat readiness instructor, after which she began studying law and International Relations while building her modelling and acting careers.
Gadot’s first international film role came a Gisele Yashar in Fast and Furious (2009), a role she reprised in subsequent instalments of the film.
She went on to gain worldwide recognition for portraying Diana PLrince/WonderWoman in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), followed by the solo film Wonder Woman and the ensemble Justice League (both 2017)
Carmela is living with LMNA Congenital MD. Children with this condition rarely live up to 20 years.
She and her family have raised more than £22,500 for MDUK since she was diagnosed, aged 3. She’s baked cakes. Made art for her local care home. She’s met celebrities. Appeared on GMTV and taken over Piccadilly Circus. She is YouTube’s The Lockdown Physio Kid, providing routines for kids like her. And she will keep walking and walking until her legs can no longer carry her.
Carmela’s parents are heroes too. Darren, her dad, works for the NHS and in shielding Carmela he has been living in a shed in the garden. Whilst Lucy has built up a social media following as she campaigns for Carmela and for MDUK and supports other families. They are giving Carmela every opportunity to thrive and lead a good quality childhood as her degenerative disease attacks her little body.
Carmela has appeared on Piccadilly Lights and the Flannels building on Oxford Street, London..
Find out more and donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carmela-chillery-watson10
Follow Carmela on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carmelachillerywatson/