A six-year-old disabled girl who completed a grueling walking challenge dressed as Wonder Woman got to meet the actress who portrays the DC Comics character.
Carmela Chillery-Watson has LMNA congenital muscular dystrophy, a life-limiting muscle-wasting disease, and is unlikely to live beyond her 20th birthday.
To show her strength and resilience, she completed a 300km charity challenge in September, using specially designed crutches. By walking she raised more than $20,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
On Tuesday evening, she shared a message of thanks to actress Gal Gadot, star of the new Wonder Woman 1984 movie, via a pre-recorded video on The One Show.
"It's not about me, I'm just a vessel" Shout out to all the true Wonder Women out there ❤♀ @GalGadot opens up o… https://t.co/mr1z863kgi— BBC The One Show (@BBC The One Show) 1608062555.0
"Hi Gal, it's Carmela, AKA Wonder Girl," said Carmela, referencing a September tweet from Gadot in which she described Carmela as "my real Wonder Girl."
"I can't wait to see your new movie. Thank you for donating to my Wonder Woman walk," she continued.
"You help me fight on living with muscular dystrophy and inspire me to do my exercise daily to help me stay strong… you help me and other children have hope."
Speaking to the presenters, Gadot, who donated $4,600 to Carmela's cause in September, said Carmela is "the true Wonder Woman."
Carmela completed the challenge with her mum Lucy at her side (Muscular Dystrophy UK/PA)
"That's made my day. It's such a privilege to be able to affect these precious souls and to give them strength through our movies. Carmela is a true Wonder Woman," Gadot said.
"She fights for her goal and she shows that she doesn't let anything stop her. Through this entire, very, very long trip that she and her mum did, they just walked and walked and walked. She's amazing."
"Honestly it's not about me, I'm just a vessel. I'm just the actress that got to portray this incredible character."
My real wonder girl! Wow this video blew my mind. You’re a true hero. So inspiring and strong. I hope one day we ge… https://t.co/SclxF7N82x— Gal Gadot (@Gal Gadot) 1599693357.0
Carmela's disease affects her muscles and means she cannot walk continuously for more than five minutes at a time or for 60 seconds on inclines.
She completed her walking challenge in stints over the month of September, dressing up as her favorite superhero throughout. All while still attending school, physio sessions and hospital appointments.
Carmela and her mother, Lucy, finished the route in Easterton after crossing Salisbury Plain.
Twitter was excited to show their support.
@GalGadot Way to go, Carmela!— Lori Johnston (@Lori Johnston) 1599693498.0
@GalGadot https://t.co/4ta06lf3My— ઇઉ Miss εmmα Tεαchεr ઇઉ (@ઇઉ Miss εmmα Tεαchεr ઇઉ) 1599693667.0
@GalGadot you're so sweet and inspiring, i love you so much ❤— mariah clara ʬ⁸⁴⛓ | EVERMORE (@mariah clara ʬ⁸⁴⛓ | EVERMORE) 1599696565.0
"We are over the moon that Carmela got to thank Gal Gadot on 'The One Show' and we're very grateful for the cast's ongoing support," Catherine Woodhead, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said.
"The money Carmela and her team raised during their Wonder Woman challenge is vital in 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 the pandemic."
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