In the fight of her life, Assumption High School lacrosse player exemplifies courage, respect for team
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A local teen in the fight of her life tried to keep it to herself to help her team battle on the field.
That junior from Assumption High School is being recognized for her courage Monday at the 5th Annual Women in Sports Honors.
We may never know what someone is going through in life, and that’s especially true with lacrosse player Sena Fulmore.
Coaches said they’ve had some students try to get out of practice for concerts or other events over the years. But Fulmore kept up with both her school work and her team as her health was seriously declining.
She didn’t let anyone know until she had no other choice.
The goalie said she only needed to make one stop at her position.
“I ended up loving it,” Fulmore said.
As she was getting better every day on the field, Fulmore’s mother, Charlsie Fulmore, said that wasn’t happening at home.
“It started around (age) 13,” she said. “She was just tired and she would always get infections. It was like her immune system was just low.”
Doctors tried iron and rounds of antibiotics.
“As a mom, I just knew something’s not right,” Charlsie said, adding that her clumps of her daughter’s hair started falling out.
“Then I started feeling sick right after that started happening,” Sena said.
A doctor eventually found nodules on her thyroid gland.
“They called us two days later and told us it was positive for cancer,” Charlsie said.
Added Sena: “I just started crying, which is what I think most people would do.”
All that unbeknownst to her team, Sena kept going to practice.
“I never would have known,” said her coach, Samantha Saunders,"(Sena) didn’t let it slow her down. She was sometimes running when other girls weren’t."
Sena only told the coach when her thyroid had to be removed.
“The doctor came out mid-surgery and said there’s lymph nodes he couldn’t get,” Charlsie said.
Sena and her mom left Mother’s Day weekend to see a specialist at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital after calling her coach. That’s a level of dedication that’s off the charts.
“They were scheduling her doctor’s appointment around our lacrosse tournament, and that just spoke for her character,” Saunders said.
A biopsy found cancer was still there, and, following a six-hour surgery, Sena found out her team was, too. Her teammates came up with a new motto for the season -- Fight Like A Girl (FLAG). They also take a signed teddy bear to each game with a jersey and Sena’s No. 40 on it. That was their way of having her with them.
“Every single time I look at it, it just reminds me of the constant support that I have,” Sena said.
“You get knocked down a lot in life and you just have to get back up and fight, and she is the epitome of that,” Charlsie said.
Sena continues to have her blood tested. The next appointment comes in November, but so far so good; her mom reports her numbers are going down.
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