Marion teen cancer survivor 'Makes-a-Wish' to direct her own film in Los Angeles

Marion teen cancer survivor 'Makes-a-Wish' to direct her own film in Los Angeles

MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Julia Fulmer grew up like any other kid in Marion, playing soccer, going to church, playing with her three brothers, and taking lots and lots of pictures.

"When I was a kid, my mom gave me a camera - one of her old cameras - and I just went around taking pictures and recording video all the time, and when I would get home, I started making slideshows with the help of my dad, " Fulmer said.

What made her childhood unique came at the age of 13, when she was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma.

When her mom, Judy Fulmer, saw the enlarged lymph node on her neck, she didn't think much of it.

"When you showed me the swollen node on the back of your neck, I wasn't concerned because I knew your body was fighting all of the sinus stuff," Judy Fulmer said. "I'll never forget, you were like, 'Mom, do you think it's cancer?' I said no"

The next few years involved surgeries, treatments and over 830 doses of chemotherapy.

Luckily, Fulmer's cancer has an 84 percent cure rate, and as of December 2016, she is no longer receiving any treatment.

When it came time for Fulmer to decide what she wanted her "Make-a-Wish" to be, she knew she didn't want to do anything someone else had done. That meant no trips to Disney or Hawaii.

Judy Fulmer started researching and found a group called "Spotlight on Hope" that hosts film camps for teenagers with cancer. She also got in contact with a media group in Los Angeles, Think Ten Media Group.

Together, they came up with Fulmer's wish - she wanted to go to L.A. to direct her own short film.

From there, the wheels started turning. Fulmer wrote the screenplay, "Rachel's Pitch," a comedy about a girl who goes to L.A. to pitch stories to a "big time" producer.

She helped with casting and pre-production, all via Skype, and about a year later, Fulmer went to L.A. with her parents for filming. She said she was overwhelmed by being on set the first day, especially when they asked her to call out "action," and other cues.

By day three, she was calling out action and cues like a natural.

"Everybody was saying, 'Wow, she's really got some good insight. I wouldn't have played it that way, but this looks really good," Judy Fulmer said.

"Rachel's Pitch" is now in post-production, and Fulmer hopes to have movie premieres in both L.A. and South Carolina sometime in the fall.

As for how she was able to remain positive during her treatment? Fulmer said she relies on her trust in God.

"Many people say he won't give you more than you can handle, but that's the point; he will give you more than you can handle, and that's why you have to rely on him," she said.

Fulmer said she wants to focus on school after her movie premieres, and might even consider a career in industrial engineering in the future.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All Rights Reserved.