MULLINS, S.C. – Mullins Mayor Robert Woodbury welcomed Philip and Judy Fulmer to City Hall Friday for a proclamation signing in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Temperance Hill family advocates spend a great deal of time informing the public about the concerning cancer battles experienced by children across the nation and local community.
Daughter Julia Fulmer was diagnosed with T-Cell ALL (acute lymphoblastic lymphoma) at the age of 13. She has reached a five-year milestone after treatment that included more than 800 doses of chemo and now a junior enrolled at Francis Marion University.
“We’re both parent advocates,” Philip Fulmer said. “She was in chemo non-stop for two and half years. She is in remission and doing well now at Francis Marion. It’s definitely a topic and a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.”
The Fulmer family said they’re concerned about more families enduring the battle and the need for more research into childhood cancer.
“It tugs at the heart string but it doesn’t see a lot of backing nationwide,” he said. “Dedicated research is not happening.”
Julia Fulmer said there is also a need for specific treatment for teenagers.
“That age group has some significant physiological responses that really aren’t addressed,” she said.
Judy Fulmer has led the effort to spread awareness to elected officials and share their story.
“We need to make it a national priority,” she said.
Mayor Woodbury said he was glad to have the opportunity to meet with the family.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to spread the awareness about childhood cancer,” he said. “I learned so much just by talking to them. I think that more people in our area need to be aware of childhood cancer and the affects and research that need to be done.”
The parents of four children studied radiation therapy. Judy Fulmer’s educational background includes health physics while Philip Fulmer is a professor in the physics and engineering department at Francis Marion University.
Julia, an active youth soccer player was diagnosed on Aug. 19, 2014 before the first practice of the season. She received more than 800 doses of chemotherapy during the course of her treatment.
“She had so much chemo,” Judy Fulmer said. “She had oral chemo with pills, shots, IV, injections into her spinal fluid and 55 transfusions.”
The Marion 15-year old and under All Star team wore Team Julia uniforms in honor of their teammate as she battled cancer.
Former Marion Swamp Foxes varsity soccer coach Jason Jordon said Fulmer played multiple years on the 12-year old team and was moving up at the time.
“She is a really sweet girl and was on the roster ready to play until she found out. So we just felt like that’s what we wanted to do and let her know she is still on our team,” he said.
Judy Fulmer said her daughter had more than two years of being sick and suffered permanent bone damage due to side effects.
“But if you met her you would not know this,” she said. “She cycles 20-miles, co-editor of The Patriot school newspaper, senior videographer and an honor student.”
Julia Fulmer is currently studying digital marketing at FMU.
The Family will be spreading and awareness and providing more information along with gold ribbon cookies Saturday at the Marion Farmer’s Market.