By: Megan A. Wilson, Contributing Writer
A Boyne City family is asking for help for their son who is suffering from leukemia.
From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 10 there will be a fundraiser for Cody Fulkerson at the Boyne City Eagles Club.
“This fundraiser is to help with traveling expenses to get down to Grand Rapids,” said Deborah Harris, who is Cody’s Grandmother. “It costs them $140 to $160 to make one trip to the hospital; they are driving an older Tahoe.”
Fulkerson has been recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and is in the process of receiving treatment at Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
The Fulkersons are supposed to only make one trip a week to Grand Rapids for chemotherapy but lately it has been multiple trips as well as emergency trips to Charlevoix Area Hospital.
Cancer Crusaders of Boyne City has stepped forward and donated a gas card to help offset some of the costs.
Currently there are collection jars at some of the gas stations around Boyne City.
Cody Fulkerson is the son of Joshua Fulkerson Sr. and Mary Beth Gerlinghouse.
Fulkerson is an active student, playing on the Boyne City Middle School football team and enjoying hunting and any type of fishing activities.
Fulkerson has two brothers and three stepsisters.
Fulkerson’s brother Taylor, is disabled and diabetic with a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident.
According to the website of The National Bone Marrow Program, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a curable leukemia, and for Cody’s age bracket, with induction therapy remission is achieved in 95 percent of patients.
“Remission could be achieved in one month of treatments,” said Gerlinghouse. “Until then we have to buy new carpeting, and a new mattress for Cody because he can’t be exposed to any contaminants.”
Fulkerson’s trouble began during the fall football season when he complained of having pain in his joints.
“At first we just thought it was all part of playing football,” said Harris. “Football is a rough sport, and that comes with the game.”
According to http://marrow.org high numbers of leukemia cells can cause pain in the bones or joints, lack of appetite, headache or vomiting, these symptoms are less common.
“We took Cody to the doctor and they tested him for everything, at the examination they took eight vials of blood,” said Gerlinghouse. “The internet was not my friend, I looked up every symptom, and at one point I thought he had Scarlet Fever.”
Cody’s friends at Boyne City Middle School have been very supportive of him: one of his friends reported shaving his head for him on Cody’s Facebook page.
At this point Cody is in the hospital but is expected to be released this week, and if he goes into remission on schedule it is possible that he would be able to go back to school this year.
The menu at the fundraiser will include three kinds of chili, hot dogs, a salad and dessert.
The fundraising activities will include raffles, silent auctions, and 50/50 drawings.