I might be little, but don't call me cute! ... Feisty 3ft 7in Louisa Charlton's low growth hormone mission
SHE may only be little – but don't call her cute.
Louisa Charlton, eight, does not fall short of attitude and is fast becoming a feisty fundraiser.
At just 3ft 7in, what she lacks in height she makes up for in confidence and determination.
This week she has been raising awareness about her condition and money for the hospital that has treated her.
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Doctors at The Children's Hospital in Sheffield believe Louisa has borderline low growth hormone, although she will need more tests when she is older to confirm this.
"She doesn't like being called cute, she says she is cool," said mum Caroline, 39.
"She has been picked on in the past and called a midget, but she has just got on with it and grown in confidence.
"It has made her stronger and tougher and a lot more mentally strong."
Louisa said: "The doctors and nurses helped me with my growth. I am a bit smaller than everyone else so they told me to eat lots of fruit and vegetables."
The condition means Louisa is shorter than her peers at South Cave Church of England School and earlier this week, she gave a talk on her condition to 380 classmates in an assembly.
Caroline said: "She is incredibly brave to stand up in front of all those people.
"She had butterflies in her tummy beforehand but she wanted to do it.
"The school's topic of the week was prejudice so she talked about why it's important to respect that not everyone is the same and that should be celebrated.
"It doesn't matter what shape or size you are – we are all different."
She has also organised a bun sale, with the aim of raising money for the hospital where she was cared.
On Thursday and Friday, Louisa chatted to Chris Evans when she phoned his Radio 2 show.
She said: "He has a bit on his show where children tell him about some- thing they have done for the first time today.
"I rang up on Thursday and told him about my bun sale and then he asked me to ring back on Friday too.
"It wasn't scary speaking to someone famous."
When Louisa was a baby, she did not put on weight or grow as quickly as expected.
When she was three, she was referred to a specialist at The Children's Hospital in Sheffield.
Although there are no serious adverse affects from the condition, Louisa will be tested before her teenage years, as in some cases it can affect puberty.
The condition is not thought to be hereditary, although some members of dad Mark's family are small – Louisa's auntie is 4ft 11.
Apart from her height, the only other noticeable difference between Louisa and her friends is that she often feels the cold a lot more.
Caroline said: "She is probably one of very few children who isn't enjoying the snow at the moment."
Being petite can also have its advantages.
Caroline said: "She has started gymnastics and she has the perfect frame for it. She was inspired after watching it on the Olympics.
And although she says she is not cute, she plays the cute card quite a lot.
Caroline said: "When she was asking supermarkets to donate buns for her cake sale, she turned on the cuteness."
Louisa – who lives with Caroline and Mark and sister Emily, 12 – decided she wanted to raise money for the hospital to give something back to the doctors and nurses who helped her.
Louisa approached supermarkets to ask for donations and parents also brought supplies. About 700 buns were collected which, when stacked in boxes, were taller than Louisa. Although a final total is not yet known, Caroline believes it will be well over £100.