Brevard Teen Fighting Cancer Gets Global Support From Famous Politicians, Athletes and Entertainers
By Space Coast Daily // February 21, 2017
CELEBRITIES SHOUT-OUT FOR JULIE!
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – What first began as a simple local initiative to express well wishes to a Merritt Island youth fighting cancer, has blossomed into a global enterprise that has received enthusiastic input from the Vice President of the United States, history’s greatest golfer, Olympic champions, famous entertainers, pro and college sports teams and former President George H.W. Bush.
It all started one day when Steve Wilson and Valerie Paul were talking about things they could do to help lift the spirits of their friend’s 16-year-old daughter, Julie Spurlock, that was battling cancer for the second time.
A number of ideas were kicked around, but when Valerie said, “how about video clips with words of encouragement,” it was like a light switch was turned on in Wilson’s head.
‘ROCK FOR JULIE’
His mind started racing. And so it began. Early on, Wilson’s intent was to gather enough clips to make a short 3- to 4-minute video that Julie would enjoy and would make her smile. Wilson kept it local and contacted friends and acquaintances of Julie.
He also contacted Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, U.S. Congressman Bill Posey, retired Col. Danny McKnight, Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser, and a host of well-known others from the area.
When all was said and done, he had 36 video clips totaling 10 minutes and 54 seconds.
Wilson then decided he was going to contact Florida Governor Rick Scott to see if he would make a video.
In all honesty, Wilson felt like it was a long shot, but he had nothing to lose. After a nice conversation with the governor’s staff, and a subsequent email, Wilson waited. A few short weeks later, Governor Scott’s message of encouragement for Julie arrived on Wilson’s phone.
Wilson was thrilled! And, that’s when things took off!
“When Governor Scott’s video came in, I started thinking on a much larger scale,” said Wilson.
Invitation To the White House
No longer would he be satisfied with messages only from Floridians; he wanted to go national, even global. And that real opportunity arrived in late October. Barely one week prior to the general election, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence was set to arrive in Cocoa for a rally. When Wilson found out about it he thought to himself, why not try to get a clip from Governor Pence?
He believed that if he could pull this off, it would really set things moving forward. Wilson’s thinking was – this is for Julie, I am going to do everything in my power to get this one!
After multiple conversations with the governor’s staff, things fell into place. After the rally, Governor Pence set aside time for a meeting with Wilson and the Space Coast Daily staff members that were in attendance as working members of the media.
A “get-well” video was made by the governor, and an invitation to the White House was extended to Julie, if the Trump/Pence ticket won the election. Needles to say, Julie is preparing for a trip to our nation’s capital in the not too distant future.
ABOVE VIDEO: When then Vice Presidental Candidate Gov. Mike Pence was in Cocoa for a pre-election rally recently he had this personal message for Julie – and a exclusive invitation to the White House from the now Vice President-Elect.
Not only has Julie been invited to the White House, but she’s also been invited to the Governor’s Office in Tallahassee, to a Los Angeles Lakers’ game as the special guest of Head Coach Luke Walton, to a Newsboys concert and to Wrestlemania as a guest of D-Von Dudley.
Since that late October day, the “get-well/keep-fighting” clips have been pouring in. The wide array of individuals that are sending well wishes is extraordinary.
There have been politicians; musicians; high school, college, and professional athletes; actors; models; coaches; college sports teams; business organizations; a number of cancer survivors; and, even Santa Claus!
Wilson has monitored things closely, and he was very interested to know who would send in the 100th video clip. His thinking was that No. 100 is kind of a milestone, and he was quite anxious to see who it would be.
Well, the mystery is solved, the 100th clip came in from Jake Gibb, a two-time cancer survivor and three-time Olympian in beach volleyball. Gibb has been a star volleyball player since the mid 2000s, has three AVP Most Valuable Player Awards and two USA Volleyball Male Beach Athlete of the Year Awards.
Personal Letters of Encouragement
When he reflects back on some of the clips he has received, Wilson just shakes his head in amazement.
Wilson noted, “I think of some of the people I’ve been in contact with – Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, U.S. Congressman Bill Posey, Governor Rick Scott, Mike Haridopolis, Coach Luke Walton, Brian Shaw, Jack Nicklaus, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Amanda Beard, Nastia Liukin, Shannon Miller, Jake Gibb, Mark Herzlich, Dayna Marie, Chiara Gizzi, Darryl Strawberry – well, I can go on and on. These are the people that have made this a success.”
And, it’s not all about video clips. Some individuals and organizations have supported Julie by sending personal letters of encouragement, sending “care packages” and much more. Among those supporting Julie with a number of gifts, and a very personal letter, is, arguably the best basketball player on the planet – LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
She has received gift packages from Coach Steve Spuerrier, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Team USA Softball and New York University softball. Julie also received personal letters from former President George H.W. Bush, and car racing superstar Danica Patrick.
“Please understand that this is not about me,” said Wilson.
“What I am doing is nothing special. I’m just a conduit. It’s about those remarkable individuals that have responded to my requests, and, more importantly, it’s about Julie. My goal has always been to bring a smile to Julie’s face and to raise awareness about pediatric cancer issues, as well as the need for more funding and research.”
Wilson said that he’s already thinking about the “next 100.” He will not stop gathering clips until Julie beats cancer. From whom will the next clip come? You’ll have to wait and see – log on to SpaceCoastDaily.com to find out.
ABOVE VIDEO: Congressman Bill Posey With A Special Shoutout To Julie Spurlock.
Julie and her family have been invited to the state capital in Tallahassee and the White House in our Nation’s capital.
Not bad for a 16-year-old girl that would much rather be playing softball, but was destined to make an impact on an even greater field.
ABOVE VIDEO: Pittsburgh Pirates Manager, Merritt Island Grad, Clint Hurdle With A Message For Merritt Island’s Julie Spurlock.
ABOVE VIDEO: Kasie Lynne, a cancer survivor and former MTV reality star gives encouragement to Julie Spurlock.
ABOVE VIDEO: Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic gives a shout-out to Julie Spurlock.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Tech Football Head Coach Steve Englehart with a message for Julie Spurlock in her fight against cancer.
ABOVE VIDEO: Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard for wishing Julie Spurlock well in her battle with cancer.