When the chubby little girl gets her period she walks over to her mom and dad and says her “foo foo is bleeding”.
Emily Dover (5) has been menstruating since the age of four but doesn’t fully understand what happens to her body whenever her cycle begins.
“She hasn’t even had a chance to be a little girl,” says Emily’s mother, Tam (41).
“She’s having to learn how to put panty liners on for menstruating.”
Tam lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband, Matt (40), Emily, and the couples’ two older children.
Their youngest daughter suffers from central precocious puberty, a condition where puberty starts too early in children.
Daily Mail reports that Emily began developing breasts and a powerful body odour at the tender age of two.
Since birth, she had a nagging “rash” that just wouldn’t go away.
It was eventually diagnosed as cystic acne, a more severe form of acne that can last for years.
When she turned four, the toddler began menstruating and, at first, couldn’t understand what was happening to her.
“Because she has trouble toileting, she thought she had done a poo in her undies,” Tam told Mirror Online.
“It’s difficult to explain to her what’s happening. She knows she’s different, she knows she’s much bigger than other children,” Tam says, adding that in the past 12 months Emily has grown hair on her forehead, back and vagina.
“She’s very conscious of her body.”
Now, at age five, she’s just started undergoing menopause, along with all its uncomfortable effects.
Emily was born normal, says her mother, even weighing less than her older siblings.
“She was my smallest baby after birth. She was 3,6kg.
“The child before her was 4,5kg. The first week was pretty normal but after that, things turned quite bad, she wasn’t sleeping well, she was in pain.”
Tam and Matt started noticing their daughters’ rapid growth rate.
At four months old she was already the size of a one-year-old, at one point even growing by 4cm in seven days.
The concerned parents knew something was up and after years of trips to the doctor for tests, she was finally diagnosed with Addison’s disease this year – in addition to the central precocious puberty she suffers from.
Emily will soon start hormone replacement therapy, which is an injection every three months.
A GoFundMe page has now been set up to raise money to cover the astronomical costs of her treatment and care.
Tam hopes sharing her daughter’s story will help other families going through similar experiences.
“She’s really special,” the proud mom says.
“At five years old Emily is the strongest, most caring girl I know.
“Despite everything she’s so happy.”