Julie thought her 11-yo daughter had started her period early. But it was far deadlier.

When Michelle Peacock started bleeding when she was 11 years old, her mother Julie thought it was a sign her daughter had started her period.

“I remember her shouting, ‘Mum, come quick, I’m bleeding’ so I dashed into the bathroom,” 44-year-old Julie McClelland, from Belfast in Ireland, told The Sun.

michelle peacock cervical cancer
Michelle was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was just 11 years old. Image via Facebook.

"It's a rite of passage for every mum and daughter."

Michelle was due to go on holidays with her father Mark Peacock - who was separated from her mother - so Julie called him and told him the news.

"I knew he'd look after her – he doted on his little girl," Julie said.

But a few weeks later, Michelle was still bleeding, and when Julie saw the blood clots in her daughter's underwear, she knew something was wrong.

Michelle started medication to ease her bleeding, but when things still hadn't settled six months later, her parents took her to hospital.

It was there they were given the shock news that their daughter had clear cell carcinoma of the cervix.

michelle peacock cervical cancer parents
Michelle with her parents, Mark and Julie, at age 15. Image via Facebook.

Specialists at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast said they'd never seen the aggressive form of cervical cancer in a patient so young.

Immediately, Julie banned doctors from saying the 'c-word' around her young daughter, and over the next six years, Michelle underwent three rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a full hysterectomy.

Michelle's long brown hair fell out due to the treatment, so her parents bought her a blonde wig so she could still feel like a "girly girl".

"No matter how terrible she felt, her nails and face were immaculate," Julie said of her daughter, who "loved playing dress-ups".

Michelle Peacock cervical cancer
Michelle's parents bought her a blonde wig when she lost her hair during treatment. Image via Facebook.

Michelle's parents kept her illness a secret from her friends, with only close family knowing what she was going through.

Soon, Michelle was so sick, her mother quit work to care for her full time, and her father moved back in to the house to help.

Just after her 16th birthday, the family was told the cancer had spread to Michelle's right lung, liver and pelvis. Doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

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Just three days after her 17th birthday, in February 2013, Michelle passed away.

"My Michelle was so brave," mum Julie said.

"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."

During her years of treatment, Michelle kept a diary about her cancer journey. It's now been published as a book called Time To Take My Life Back, and is being sold to raise money for charities that supported her through her illness.

"She's gone but she'll never be forgotten," her mother said.

"She’ll always live on in our hearts."