As many of our supporters will know, Tilly is an ambassador for Bristol-based Open Bionics, which created and launched the 3D printed multi-grip bionic hand, the Hero Arm. Tilly - who lost both her hands to meningococcal septicaemia B when she was 15 months old - wears two of the Hero Arms, describing them as “life changing”.
Tilly’s new arms caught the media’s attention and led to an invitation to appear on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme where she was asked to demonstrate their ability by doing some painting. It was after this appearance that mum Sarah received an interesting phone call.
“The subject of the email said ‘’Bear with me"," said Sarah.
“I was intrigued, and as I continued to read I found out that it was from a lovely lady called Melissa, who along with her dad had created a quirky fundraiser."
“They had already successfully run similar fundraisers for the past two years helping to raise a lot of money for different charities and bringing people to their hometown.”
This year, Melissa and her dad were sending out 100 three-foot fibreglass hounds and were looking for ‘artists’ to paint them in their own unique way. The Hounds would each need a sponsor and an artist, and would be displayed around the town of Haslemere, launching on the weekend of 17-19 May.
Melissa wanted Tilly to be one of her artists and she would be able to choose a charity close to her heart and raise as much money as she could for them using the Hound. The Hound will then be auctioned off in September, with all of the proceeds going to her chosen charity.
Tilly chose Open Bionics to be her sponsor and Meningitis Now to be the beneficiary.
Bionic Hero Hound
“Meningitis Now helps so many affected families everyday” said Tilly.
“We want to achieve what Meningitis Now want to achieve – that no one else loses their life to meningitis and that the people who have been affected get the support that they need. It seemed only right that we chose them as our charity to support.”
After receiving the invite to take part in the Haslemere Hounds, Tilly and Open Bionics put their thinking caps on and came up with the idea to create the ‘Bionic Hero Hound’. Tilly had recently attended the Alita Battle Angel premiere as a surprise – receiving a brand new pair of Alita-inspired bionic arms made by Open Bionics in collaboration with 20th Century Fox. Tilly states that the Alita movie was her inspiration for her Hound.
“There were bionic dogs in the movie”, Tilly said. “I wanted to create my own Bionic Hound for this project while wearing my Hero Arms - that is why we have named it the Bionic Hero Hound."
“We really hope people will enjoy watching my video and like my idea and help me raise a lot of money for a great charity. I was gifted my bionic hands and I wanted to do something with them to give back!”
You can watch Tilly’s homemade awe-inspiring video here:
To make a donation to Tilly's project to raise money for Meningitis Now, visit her JustGiving page.