Girl Who Will Lose Ability To Walk Completes Gruelling 'Marathon Challenge'
A girl with a rare muscle-wasting condition that means she will lose the ability to walk has completed a gruelling 'marathon challenge'.
Six-year-old Carmela Chillery-Watson, from Wiltshire, UK, has LMNA Congenital MD - a condition which typically prevents people from reaching the age of 20. It also means that Carmela can't walk continuously for more than five minutes at a time, with her legs getting weaker by the day.
Yet despite the toll on her body, the brave battler completed the equivalent of a marathon a day throughout September, covering 300km (186.5m) on her crutches.
Carmela embarked on the challenge in a bid to raise £6,000 ($7,751) for Muscular Dystrophy UK, dressing as her favourite superhero Wonder Woman throughout the challenge.
But her target was soon smashed when none other than Wonder Woman herself, actor Gal Gadot, pledged £3,442 ($4,446) to the cause.
As if that wasn't enough, the 35-year-old said she also wants to meet the 'true wonder girl'.
View this post on InstagramThank you @meadowwalker for nominating me for the #dogoodchallenge in honor of your Father's birthday and the @paulwalkerfdn. I want to dedicate it Carmela Chillery-Watson, who finished her incredible 300km walk earlier this week. I am so honored to be able to take a small part in her journey and I can't wait to meet her in person. She inspires and gives strength to so many people worldwide and she is a true wonder girl.
A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot) on
Indeed, Wonder Girl might be an apt name for Carmela, with mum Lucy claiming her daughter thinks she's 'indestructible', despite all of the physical obstacles in her path.
She said: "In the beginning the adrenaline was keeping us from feeling tired and sore. But just a week in Carmela's spine curvatures started causing her dizziness and nausea. Both the walking and long periods of sitting in a wheelchair over an uneven terrain caused misalignments.
"At one point we thought we might have to stop for a few days to give her spine a rest. When her body is exhausted her face goes pale, her lips turn blue and her movement gets poorer.
"I have to be very careful Carmela doesn't get to this stage as her muscles can't repair themselves if she overdoes it.
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"But in Carmela's world she is indestructible and if she had a choice she would keep going until she fell.
"Carmela never complains about her pains and has always been committed to completing the challenge no matter what her body goes through."
The remarkable youngster is now spending October catching up with physio, which is vital for her mobility and stability, as well as preventing dizziness and sickness.
Catherine Woodhead, Muscular Dystrophy CEO, said: "It's worth remembering that Carmela is just six years old - this really is an amazing feat for such a gutsy little girl who will eventually lose the ability to walk and need to use a wheelchair permanently.
"The money Carmela and her team have raised is vital to helping us fund research into treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people with muscle-wasting conditions, particularly because our finances as a charity have been so badly affected by Covid-19."
Carmela's fundraiser has totted up a hugely impressive £14,602 ($18,800) for the charity - but she hopes the donations will keep coming to help the fight against her 'horrible disease'.
Wonder Girl said: "Walking was the hardest part but I loved the beach walks and getting cheered along was awesome. Thank you to everyone helping me hope to walk for longer and finding a cure for my horrible disease."
You can visit her fundraising page and donate here.
Featured Image Credit: Muscular Dystrophy UK