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‘There is no passion to be found in playing small’

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Courtesy photo

Sparkling eyes and a sassy smile greeted me as I walked up to a table in the Rhatigan Student Center.

Rebecca Fulcher, known as Becky, welcomed me warmly.

The average observer might have focused on Becky’s wheelchair and her slurred speech due to Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare form of muscular dystrophy, but it took only a few moments with Becky for these external factors to melt away. What remained was a vibrant and beautiful young lady who loved life and lived big.

Weeks earlier, Becky happily agreed to be the subject of a photo story for The Sunflower. This particular afternoon, I had opted not to bring my camera to the interview. Instead, I simply wanted to listen and learn about Becky’s life.

“My favorite memories are being on campus with my friends and feeling normal, like sitting in here and doing homework with my friends,” Becky said. “It’s homework so it’s not fun, but I just like being here and being involved.”

From living in the dorms her freshman year to becoming an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Becky embraced the college experience.

“I just want people to know that I’m doing what everyone else does,” Becky said. “It takes me a little bit. I have to work a little bit harder and do things a little differently, but I’m figuring stuff out the way everyone else is. I feel like that’s really what matters.”

Becky said it was difficult when people made snap judgments about her.

“I think people aren’t educated about this stuff [muscular dystrophy],” she said. “It’s ignorance is all it is. People don’t like to ask me questions. I would rather people be blunt and just ask me than assume and make judgments.”

Becky humorously described the one time she asked for an exception due to her muscular dystrophy.

“I filed for a waver with the exceptions committee last semester to not have to take a foreign language because I’m like, ‘I can barely speak English!,” she said.

Becky’s sense of humor was one of the character traits that made her so much fun to be around. She balanced her whit with her goals.

Becky dreamed of living in a bigger city after college such as Kansas City or Austin, and designing magazine layouts for a non-profit.

Becky died in a car accident while driving with friends and family back from a concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s difficult to comprehend how someone so full of life and dreams could be gone in an instant.

Becky let nothing limit her.

Becky lived by the motto tattooed to her arm. It read, “There is no passion to be found in playing small.”

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