A teenage girl from Felpham will be taking part in a 10k run to ‘help prolong the life’ of her four-year-old cousin.
Hollie Senekal, who works in the radiology department at St Richard’s Hospital, wants to raise funds to buy vital equipment and a wheelchair for Carmela Chillery-Watson, who suffers from a rare case of Muscular Dystrophy.
Hollie, 18, said: “I will be doing a 10K run for Carmela’s stand up to Muscular Dystrophy to help raise money for vital equipment and support she needs.
“Carmela has had Muscular Dystrophy her whole life and I am looking to gain some money to help prolong her life.
“A small donation can go a long way.”
Hollie said Carmela, who lives in Wiltshire, has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called LMNA Congenital Muscular Dystrophy which means her skeletal, heart and lungs weaken as she grows, shortening her life.
“With her type of MD, her heart is at risk of a sudden heart attack,” Hollie explained.
“Carmela has weak neck muscles causing her to have a floppy head so she wears a helmet. She also wears a lycra suit under her daily clothes to help give her stability and reduce deformities in her spine as she grows.
“On top of these she wears knee straps as her knees are bendy and weak and can give way easily.”
Hollie said that despite all of this ‘you can always guarantee Carmela will put a smile on everyone’s face’.
She added; “She has raised money for her children’s hospice as a way to say thank you for her carers who look after her.
“She also continues to raise money for MDUK to help find a cure for her deadly disease.
“Most days Carmela can get exhausted causing her to go very pale and blue lipped. Despite not being able to run, jump, hop, climb and do general everyday tasks she still finds the motivation to raise money for charity whilst putting her little body through it.
“She never complains about her daily pain and limitations, she finds a solution. Carmela has inspired so many people she has met to never give up. She is truly an inspiration to both young and old!”
Hollie will be running the Bognor 10k for the first time on May 19 and said she is ‘currently training and progressing really well’.
She added: “I’ve wanted to do the Bognor 10k for quite a while and it was good opportunity to help my little cousin as well.”