11-year-old Michelle gets her period: Weeks later, she calls for her mom from the bathroom

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.02 - 2023 3:37 PM CET

Photo: Private
Photo: Private
Weeks later, she calls for her mom from the bathroom.

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Michelle was preparing for a vacation with her father in Turkey when she got her first period. Her mother, Julie, informed her ex-husband about the situation so he could take extra care of their daughter during the trip.

However, a few weeks later, Michelle called out to her mother again, signaling that something was wrong.

A mother's concern

Michelle Peacock, from Ireland, was just 11 years old when she got her first period.

"I remember her shouting, 'Mom, come quick, I'm bleeding,' so I rushed to the bathroom. It's a rite of passage for any mother and daughter," recalls Julie McClelland according to Dagens.dk.

She informed her ex-husband Mark, as Michelle was about to go on vacation with him to Turkey. Julie wanted to make sure he was aware of the situation so he could look after their daughter.

However, a few weeks later, Michelle showed her mother that she was still bleeding. Julie knew something was wrong. After a series of medical tests, some of which were performed under anesthesia to minimize discomfort, the diagnosis was devastating:

Michelle had aggressive cervical cancer.

Photo: Private

For the next 18 months, Michelle underwent chemotherapy. Her beautiful brown hair fell out in clumps, prompting her parents to buy wigs and scarves for her.

The family kept the extent of her illness a secret, except to close relatives. She was admitted to a London hospital for radiation therapy and was in terrible condition.

A Heartbreaking Outcome

After treatment, Michelle was scanned again. The results were heartbreaking: the cancer had spread to her left lung. She underwent surgery to remove part of the lung and received more chemotherapy.

Photo: Private

At 15, she had her uterus, ovaries, bladder, and part of her vagina removed. She had to live with a stoma bag for the rest of her short life.

"We took her to Turkey again before the surgery. Mark and I couldn't help but smile when she tucked her stoma into her bikini. I even let her get a tattoo with her motto 'live, laugh, love' on her foot. I would do anything to make my girl happy," says Julie McClelland.

A Life Cut Short

The operation took 14 hours, and Michelle was in intensive care for two weeks afterward. Doctors warned it would take months for her to recover, but she was soon celebrating her 16th birthday. However, the cancer returned, and there was nothing more doctors could do.

In February 2013, Michelle was rushed to the hospital for the last time.

At the funeral, everyone wore pink clothing as per the daughter's wish. The song "Diamonds" by Rihanna was played. Her mother cried three months later when the daughter's exam results came in; she had received top marks.

Since their daughter's passing, the parents have held a ball every year. The proceeds go to the charity organization that supported her during her illness.