Mum thought her 11-year-old daughter, had just started her period; but bloodstains were cervical cancer

Julie McClelland, pictured with her only child Michelle, thought her daughter had just started her period when she began bleeding aged 11

An 11 year old dying of cervical cancer? Sad! Brave Michelle Peacock battled the disease for six years, having her womb, ovaries, bladder and part of her vagina removed, but died just three days after her 17th birthday.
A MUM who thought her 11-year-old daughter had started her period was devastated when

she discovered the bloodstains were a sign of aggressive cervical cancer that killed her at just 17.
Julie McClelland, 44, from Islandmagee in Northern Ireland, became concerned when her only child Michelle was still bleeding six months later, despite being on medication to ease it.
She and Michelle’s dad Mark Peacock, 50, took her to hospital – where they received the shock news she had an aggressive form of cervical cancer.
Specialists at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast said they’d never seen it in a patient so young.
Over the next six years Michelle underwent a marathon of invasive treatments, including three rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a full hysterectomy and even an op to remove part of her lung as the disease ransacked her body.
But tragically, it wasn’t enough. The teenager, who wrote a book about her experiences, died just three days after her 17th birthday, in February 2013.
“My Michelle was so brave,” said Julie.
“Her motto was ‘live laugh love’ and she made the most of every minute.
“Last month she would have celebrated her 21st birthday. Instead I took pink flowers to her grave.”
Michelle told how the pair’s close bond helped them through their darkest days.
“I remember her shouting, ‘Mum, come quick, I’m bleeding’ so I dashed into the bathroom,” she recalled.
“I’m separated from Michelle’s dad but we’ve stayed good friends, and he was about to take her on holiday to Turkey, so I called him to tell him she’d started her period.
“I knew he’d look after her – he doted on his little girl.
“But a few weeks later, when she showed me blood clots on her pants, I knew something wasn’t right.”
Michelle was diagnosed with clear cell carcinoma of the cervix in September 2007.
Immediately Julie banned her doctors from saying the c-word in front of her daughter.
Because of her age she was put under anaesthetic so she slept peacefully through all internal examinations.

Julie recalled: “Michelle was such a girly girl, always playing dress-up.
“Her make-up box was already fuller than mine! No matter how terrible she felt, her nails and face were immaculate.”
Because the cancer was so aggressive, the teenager was flown to London for a special treatment called brachytherapy – she was put to sleep as specialists inserted radiotherapy rods into her vagina. For the first time she needed a stoma bag to take away waste from her bowels because she couldn’t go to the toilet.
Julie told how they kept her illness a secret – only close family knew how sick she was.
She adored days out shopping and sleepovers with her mates, but behind closed doors she’d whimper in agony on the sofa.
Michelle was passing a vile-looking liquid and her back pain was terrible, so Julie quit her job to care for her and Mark moved in to help.
After more scans there was devastating news – the cancer had spread to her left lung and pelvis. She needed part of her lung removed and more chemo.
Julie told how they kept Michelle's illness a secret, so only close family knew how sick she was
Specialists decided the only way to save her was radical surgery in London to remove her womb and ovaries, bladder, and part of her vagina.
She was just 15 years old and for the rest of her life she’d need external stoma bags strapped to her body to take away her waste and urine.
“We took her back to Turkey before the surgery,” said Julie.
“Mark and I had to smile as she tucked her stoma bag into her bikini.
“I even let her get a tattoo of her motto ‘live laugh love’ across her foot. Anything to make my girl happy.”
In June 2011 Michelle underwent a 14-hour operation and was intensive care for two weeks afterwards.
Julie said: “We were warned it’d take months to recover, but soon she was bouncing around, preparing her 16th birthday.
“She wore a glittering pink dress and held a princess-themed party, raising £4,000 for local charities.
“But beneath the make-up her body was shutting down.”
In June 2011 Michelle underwent a 14-hour operation and was intensive care for two weeks afterwards
The cancer was back; in her right lung, liver, and pelvis. Doctors told Michelle’s family there was nothing more they could do.
Her ambition was to work with children, so Michelle sat her GCSE exam in child care in their living room, with her headteacher watching over her.
In February 2013 Michelle was rushed into hospital for the last time.
Julie told everyone to wear pink for her daughter’s funeral, and they played Diamonds by Rhianna and I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom.
The grieving mum told how she “sobbed” when Michelle’s GCSE results came through three months after her death – she’d got an A.
Continue to Rest In Peace!


  1. A lot of people are really passing through a lot! May her soul rest in peace!


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