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Brave youngster battles through to win competition

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:43 02 July 2010

Emily Waterman and her winning design

Emily Waterman and her winning design

Most children don't like injections at the best of times but little Emily Waterman still manages to put on brave face, despite having a rare condition that needs fortnightly jabs.

Most children don't like injections at the best of times but little Emily Waterman still manages to put on brave face, despite having a rare condition that needs fortnightly jabs.

And now the six-year-old, who suffers from a bone, skin and hormonal disorder which includes premature puberty, has won a competition which will see a poster she designed used around the country by Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she is a patient.

Emily, who lives in Crostwick with her mother Nicola, father Jason and two of her four older siblings, has a condition called McCune-Albright syndrome.

She takes part in clinical trials at the hospital, where her muscles are injected with medicine in a bid to control the condition, which can cause bone fractures, deformity, pigment patches and early puberty.

Emily was diagnosed with the condition until she was four-years-old.

Her mum, Nicola, 39, said: “We were not aware she had the syndrome, but the hospital started investigating when she was just over six months, it was confirmed when she was four, there is no set age for it develop and it is not hereditary, it is just one of those things.

“She is an amazing little girl, very clever, she lives with it really well, she is confident, bright and very happy. To look at her you would never know she had the condition.”

For the past two years Emily has travelled to Great Ormond Street every fourth Monday, in-between receiving medication at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, to have the injections.

The unit where Emily she is treated is brand new and was in need of decoration, so the hospital asked some of the patients they treated to draw a picture, representing how they feel, with the winners getting the chance to see their work go on display in the new unit, and Emily was the main overall winner.

Emily's mum, Nicola, 39, said: “Emily decide to draw a picture of herself with a nurse receiving an injection.

“Above her head was a cloud with her thinking about being somewhere else - on a beach.”

And the design impressed the staff at the hospital who chose it to be one of the pictures to put up in the new unit and which will also be used around the country in other hospitals.

Nicola said: “Emily was so excited about having won the competition, all the winners are being treated to a presentation on the London Eye at the end of the month and she is really looking forwards to it.”

Do you have a community story? If so contact reporter Tracey Gray on 01603 772418 or email tracey.gray@archant.co.uk

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