Courageous Carmela: Disabled fundraiser, 6, stars in superhero cartoon

Edd Dracott, PA

A disabled six-year-old watched herself star in a superhero cartoon on her own personal cinema screen as a reward for raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Carmela Chillery-Watson has LMNA congenital muscular dystrophy, a life-limiting muscle-wasting disease which means she gets weaker with every step she takes.

Despite this, she has raised more than £54,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK through her fundraising work.

In September, she completed a 300km charity challenge dressed as Wonder Woman using specially-designed crutches.

As a thank you for her efforts, Heart radio station arranged for the young girl to star in her own superhero cartoon.

Surprising superhero superfan Carmela

After raising over £40,000 for charity last year, it was time to give 6-year-old superhero superfan Carmela the surprise she deserved, together with Experian UK ❤️

Posted by Heart on Friday, January 29, 2021

Carmela’s mum Lucy helped produce the episode by recording Carmela’s lines at home before sending them to Heart, though Carmela was unaware what they would be used for.

The surprise, created in conjunction with credit reporting company Experian, also features Heart radio presenters Amanda Holden, as Amazing Amanda, and Jamie Theakston, as chief antagonist Evil Lord Jamie.

Carmela’s support dog Tinker was also given a leading role.

A cinema screen was driven outside Carmela’s house, where she watched the debut of the cartoon, complete with a miniature fireworks display and introduction by the radio hosts.

“We wanted to say a huge thank you for the absolutely incredible work that you’ve done over the past year,” said Holden.

“You are such an inspiration.”

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson awarded Carmela the Points of Light award, a daily award that recognises people making a change in their community, last week.

“To have my own superhero cartoon, it was amazing! Thank you Jamie and Amanda for the surprise,” said Carmela.

Lucy Chillery-Watson with her daughter
Lucy Chillery-Watson with her daughter Carmela (Muscular Dystrophy UK/PA)

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, and is unlikely to live beyond her 20th birthday.

She completed her walking challenge in stints over the month of September, dressing up as her favourite superhero throughout – while still attending school, physio sessions and hospital appointments.

Carmela’s father, Darren, is currently living in the back of his van as he works in the delivery of Covid-19 test kits and is trying to protect his daughter from catching Covid-19.

During the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic he lived in the cabin at the bottom of their garden, but returned to the house when restrictions were relaxed.