LITTLE Seren Wernham-Harmer was diagnosed with hereditary multiple exostoses (HME).

It is a genetic condition that affects the nerves and muscles, causing deformities in joints - which show as 'bumps' in the bones.

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Her three-year-old sister Beau has also been diagnosed and the siblings have been in and out of hospital for most of their lives, with Seren preparing for her seventh operation to shave the bumps down in October.

At twelve months old, mum Jessica Wernham, 37, found a bump sticking out of Seren's shoulder blade and took her to get tested.

Six months later, she was officially diagnosed with HME - which she inherited from dad Lee Harmer, 50, who also suffers with the little-known condition.

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Jessica has now dedicated herself to raising awareness of HME, and has become a trustee of charity HME: The New Generation.

The former manager of Boots pharmacy, from Woodcote, Reading said: "The girls are monitored every six months for pain and to see where the bumps are growing.

"It's a cruel condition and causes Seren so much pain, but she still pushes through and can do everything any other little girl can."

Getting Seren diagnosed with HME was a struggle, despite dad Lee Harmer, 50, suffering with the same condition.

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"It can be tricky to get diagnosed because doctors generally don't know about it, but we were lucky that our doctor was aware of HME," Jessica explained.

"Seren knows that she's different. She's been in and out of hospital since she was 18 months old so she's used to it, but it doesn't make it any easier.

"Her first operation was when she was just three years old to remove a bump on her ankle. We tell her she has bumpy bones, and that she's unique.

"It's a terrible condition and she puts up with so much - she is such a brave little girl."

Jessica is also mum to Rhaya, 19, from a previous relationship and Jax, eight, who are not affected by HME.

After her youngest, Beau, three, was born, it was easier to spot the symptoms.

Jessica said: "With Beau, I knew what I was looking for. I was feeding her one day and her finger looked a bit funny, so I took her straight down to the GP for a referral and she was quickly diagnosed.

"With both of them suffering it is hard, but I don't know any different. Life would be boring without it because we are so used to hospital trips - we're there every month."

The sisters are treated at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, undergoing monthly tests and observation to see how the condition is affecting them.

Jessica said: "Beau is a bit too young to know what's happening. She'll go a bit quiet and will stop walking at the park and that's how I can tell she is uncomfortable or in pain.

"With Seren, she is in a lot of pain and gets very tearful and angry. She has crutches and we've applied for a wheelchair to help her get around."

Seren is given calpol religiously every four hours after a failed attempt at taking codeine meant she was left too tired.

Jessica said: "It can be any part of the body at any time. One minute, Seren is in excruciating pain and screaming from a bump catching on a nerve, and five minutes later she's fine. One day she needs a wheelchair, the next she is running."

Jessica quit her job as manager of a Boots pharmacy in 2014 after struggling to juggle work with the hospital visits, and has since become trustee of HME: The New Generation, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of the condition.

Jessica explained: "People see us park in the disabled bay and see her walking fine and judge us. A group of parents with older children set up the charity and I found it so important to meet others in the same position so wanted to get involved.

"For the kids, it shows them they are not alone. Seren has a friend in Birmingham with HME and they don't even need to talk about their conditions - but the support is crucial."

To support HME: The New Chapter, you can donate here: