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What a positive outlook can do

By Todd Travis

When you see the smile on Amanda Fulcher’s face, you would never guess the difficulties she deals with behind the scenes. Her positivity is contagious, and her work ethic is unmatched. Between her involvement in 4-H for 10+ years and her involvement in clubs and hobbies, she has developed an impressive resumé that is almost unbelievable for someone her age. She accomplished all of this while dealing with Crohn’s Disease and Interstitial Cystitis. 

Everything Fulcher does, she does it with all her heart and, as a result, she does it well. From photography, to dancing, to sewing, to the 4-H Queen Contest, Fulcher took every opportunity to gain new experiences and to explore her interests. She even has a mini shoe collection, which has grown to epic proportions- over 300 shoes now! Her recent participation in the 4-H Queen Contest had a particularly meaningful impact on her.

“I cannot say enough good things about the queens program. It taught me so many things throughout the four years that I participated, including public speaking, how to conduct yourself in an interview, how to dress professionally, as well as I made so many new friends and earned so much self-esteem,” Fulcher mentioned.

One of Fulcher’s hobbies is sewing and donating hug-a-pillows, catnip mice, and miniature quilts to donate- a service project started by her great-grandma which she has decided to continue. 

When you hear about all she has accomplished, it’s easy to forget that she was simultaneously dealing with health issues related to Crohn’s Disease and Interstitial Cystitis. In fact, while Fulcher had been experiencing the symptoms of these conditions since she was born, she wasn’t officially diagnosed until just four years ago. 

Amanda has been involved in 4-H for 10+ years. (Submitted photo)

“Interstitial Cystitis is usually seen in older adults, so it isn’t something that a child or a teenager typically has,” Fulcher explained.

Some days are better than others, but Fulcher is constantly managing symptoms such as pain and fatigue. 

“I have a sense of humor to get through it. I would say that’s the thing that mainly gets me through it- just having a positive attitude. It’s helped me become more organized, even at a young age, keeping track of medications and doctors appointments and organization is something that, in general, can be helpful in life,” Fulcher said.

Now that Fulcher has graduated high school, she is looking to pursue a career where she can help others who, like herself, are dealing with pain or disease. After spending a year at Marion University, she has decided to enroll at Ivy Tech where she wants to become a Surgical Tech. Eventually, she may even go back to school to become an operating room nurse. Anyone who would fall under Fulcher’s care would certainly be in good hands.

September is Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month, where campaigns look to raise awareness and to let people know that there is help and treatments available for the condition.

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