• Carmela Chillery-Watson lives with a very rare muscle-wasting condition • She watched the premiere on giant billboard outside her home in Wiltshire • The cartoon film was arranged by Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakstone at Heart
A six-year-old super fundraiser with a life-limiting condition has starred in her very own animated movie - and watched the premiere on a giant billboard outside her home.
Carmela Chillery-Watson lives with the progressive muscle-wasting disease LMNA-CMD, meaning her muscles get weaker with every step she takes.
Despite this, Carmela has fundraised tirelessly since her diagnosis aged three, and has so far raised more than £54,000 including Gift Aid for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
To congratulate her extraordinary fundraising for MDUK, which funds vital research into potential treatments - and ultimately a cure - for others with muscle-wasting conditions, Heart teamed up with Experian to surprise the youngster with her own animated movie.
The video can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=444994956634248
Mum Lucy recorded Carmela’s lines from their home in Devizes, Wiltshire, before sending them to the team at Heart. Presenters Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakstone also recorded lines, before all three were transformed into animated characters.
A giant billboard was then driven across the country and turned up in Carmela’s front garden in Devizes, Wiltshire. Peering out the window, the six-year-old cried “Wow!” when she what had arrived.
Carmela then made her way outside with the help of her mum and dog Tinker, pressing a giant red ‘boost’ button to begin The Amazing Adventures of Courageous Carmela.
After fireworks and confetti burst into the air, Amanda Holden appeared on the giant screen and said: “We wanted to say a huge thank you for the absolutely incredible work that you’ve done over the past year. You are such an inspiration.”
Jamie Theakstone added: “We put our heads together and thought, well why not bring the cinema to you.”
The cartoon shows Courageous Carmela and dog Tinker teaming up with Amazing Amanda in a bid to overthrow the ‘evil’ Lord Jamie. Together the trio race through space in their rocket towards the moon, reaching Lord Jamie in the nick of time and overthrowing his plans to block out all the light from the world.
Carmela’s own superhero movie comes following her impressive and ongoing fundraising activities. In 2019 she embarked on a gruelling walking challenge for MDUK while dressed as her favourite superhero, Wonder Woman, where she completed the equivalent of a marathon every single day.
Carmela received supportive messages and financial donations along the way from the cast of Wonder Woman 1984, including leading lady Gal Gadot. The actress even donated £3,442 to Carmela’s JustGiving page after naming her as “My real wonder girl” in a tweet.
Dan McNally, Head of Regional Development at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Carmela’s bravery, determination, and dedication in fundraising for MDUK makes her a real life super hero. Carmela takes on every new challenge with boundless enthusiasm for helping others with muscle-wasting conditions, and we were thrilled that Heart and Experian made such an effort to surprise Carmela with her very own film. Carmela’s muscles get weaker every single day which makes the fact that she has raised more £54,000 for MDUK all the more impressive, especially when remembering that she’s just six years old. Well done Carmela and we hope you enjoyed your film!”
Carmela said: “To have my own superhero cartoon, it was amazing! Thank you Jamie and Amanda for the surprise.”
Carmela’s surprise film premiere took place mere hours after she received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Points of Light award. The award recognises outstanding individual volunteers who inspire others and Carmela will receive hers in a virtual ceremony this week with her local MP, Danny Kruger.Carmela’s JustGiving page can be reached here: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/muscular-dystrophy/carmela