Beauty salon owner Lucy Dykyj knew immediately what she wanted to do when she heard from a customer that the family of a little girl with cancer was looking for fundraising opportunities.
"I thought, 'That would be really great to do that,' " Dykyj said. "I've never done anything like that, and to help a family in need, that's really great. We figured we'd all work as a team."
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On Monday, Lucy's Hair Salon at 19 S. Randall Road in Algonquin will host "Cuts for a Cause!" to benefit 9-year-old Shelby Bohlin of East Dundee, who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in October 2009.
Shelby's cancer is in remission, but the daily oral chemotherapy can make her very sick, her mother, Lisa Bohlin, said in an email interview.
Shelby is also on a high dose of antibiotics and takes medicine for pain and other chemo symptoms. She also has regular blood tests and bone marrow aspirations to ensure she remains in remission, her mother said.
Lisa Bohlin, a former freelance project manager, now works part-time at a bookstore. Her husband, Shawn Bohlin, works as a landscape technician at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. The couple have two other children, Brooke, 10, and Robbie, 7. All three children are home-schooled.
"Shelby has an incredibly positive attitude most of the time despite what she is going through," Lisa Bohlin said."She has a strong will to fight and not give up."
Despite that, the disease has taken a toll, both financially and emotionally, she said. "Cancer treatment is financially crippling for our family. There are months we are not sure how we will pay the bills," she said.
The strain of watching a loved one suffer takes a different form every day, Lisa Bohlin said. Some days, her two other children feel like others don't care about what they go through, she said.
"It is not a one-time discussion or reaction. It continues to affect us every day in ways not even related to cancer. The emotional component is huge," she said. "However, we will fight the fight and never give up."
Family friends have been working with Dykyj to set up the fundraiser.
"We feel so blessed that Lucy and her team are pulling together this fundraiser for us," Lisa Bohlin said. "It is amazing that people who haven't met Shelby or our family would want to help. We are so very grateful."
Dykyj is very familiar with leukemia, since her father died of the disease in 1971, when she was 16 years old. "They didn't know much about the disease at the time ... they would just do transfusions," she said. "It touches your heart when you hear that a young family with such young children has been affected by it."
From 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, Lucy's Beauty Salon will donate all profits to the Shelby Grace Bohlin Fund. Haircuts are $14 for adults and $11 for children 8 and younger.
Appointments can be made at (847) 854-4061 but walk-ins are welcome. Donations can also be made to the Shelby Grace Bohlin Fund at any Harris Bank. The account number is 4805113421.