Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Summer goes to Disneyland

From page A5 | May 03, 2013 | 3 Comments


SUMMER FULLER, 6, left, sits on the porch of her home in Placerville along with her dad David and her 4-year-old sister Cheyane on Tuesday, May 1. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

With a waterfall of cinnamon-colored hair and green-blue eyes, she’s 6 years old, a kindergartner at Sierra School, and her favorite colors at the moment are purple and pink. There’s more to Summer Fuller than that, however. Summer has a father named David, a 4-year-old sister named Cheyane, a cat, and cancerous brain tumors behind her eye.

Summer was diagnosed with the tumors three years ago when she began a precocious puberty. An MRI revealed the presence of brain tumors.

“For a year they just monitored the tumors,” said David Fuller, 37, but when they started to get bigger she had chemotherapy to shrink them.” The tumors are not operable due to their location and the risk to Summer’s sight and development, according to Fuller. “The chemo could only shrink them, not make them disappear. Now they are dormant and the doctors monitor them with MRIs.”

“The shots don’t hurt me anymore; I’m used to them,” said Summer.

Still, the best thing about her medical journey, according to Summer, was the day the doctors removed her chemotherapy port.

The road has been long for David Fuller who describes himself as a stay-at home dad until Cheyane starts kindergarten in the fall.

“There aren’t many single dads out there raising kids on their own,” said Fuller. “I’ve been doing it for four years now. With Summer’s cancer, it’s been a little scary, but I’m leaving everything to God.”

On April 18, the Make-a-Wish Foundation gave Fuller a little help by making Summer’s wish to go to Disneyland come true. A limousine arrived at the family’s home in Placerville to pick up Summer, Cheyane, David and Summer’s grandma Denise Fuller and drove them to the Sacramento airport.

“I’ve been on a plane before,” said Summer. This time, however, she got to sit in the cockpit of the Southwest jet.

“She started pushing buttons right away, ” said her father.

From the airport, the family went to the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim and had dinner that night at Medieval Times, with jousting knights.

“Summer really liked the horses,” said Fuller.

She brought home one of the metal trenchers from the dinner and is planning to use it the next time she has pepperoni and olive pizza.

The next two days of the five-day trip were spent at Disneyland and California Adventures, returning to take advantage of the hotel pool from which they could see Disneyland’s closing fireworks. Summer went on her favorite ride — Pirates of the Caribbean — four times and Splash Mountain six times, but Pirates was too scary for her little sister. One day, the family went to Universal Studios where the Jurassic Park ride with its 85-foot drop and an attacking Tyrannosaurus were a big hit with Summer. All expenses were picked up by the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

“I want to go to Disneyland again,” said Summer.

“We’re trying to save up to go,” said Fuller.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 3 comments

  • EvelynMay 03, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    These girls are beautiful, effervescent, adorable and eminently huggable. For the past couple years I've seen them regularly at Rotary Park with their Dad but had no idea all about their family story. Kudos to David. By the frequency with which I see him with his daughters and his care in looking after them I already knew he was a great dad.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rydercup2001May 04, 2013 - 12:47 am

    Evelyn, we also see you often at Rotary Park with your dogs. You are there when we finish a game or practice. You've been most kind to all of us.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMay 04, 2013 - 6:02 am

    rc2001: I am both startled and deeply touched by your message. Thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


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