It promises to be a tough fight against cancer for Palatine resident Linda Frahm, but she gained some comfort Sunday knowing a lot of people are in her corner.
Frahm received an overwhelming show of support from the community during a Haircuts for Hope fundraiser held for her at Halo Hair & Nails in Mount Prospect. Proceeds from haircuts and nail treatments went to benefit Frahm, 48, a teacher in Mount Prospect School District 57 for the past 26 years. She is currently on leave, but had been teaching second grade at Lions Park Elementary School.
Frahm is battling metastatic breast cancer. Since being diagnosed in 2009, she has undergone both surgery and chemotherapy, but the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes and other parts of her body, and is not in remission yet.
Staff at the salon donated their time and tips to help Frahm, and it brought a huge turnout.
The driving force of the event, Lions Park teacher Tina Depa, said there were 76 appointments before Sunday and people called during the day to make even more appointments.
The salon's owner, Laura Haas, said their business, at 70 E. Northwest Hwy., holds a fundraiser every year for a deserving local family or individual and Depa provided the inspiration.
"(Depa) is one of my clients, and she was telling me about Linda," said Haas, adding that many of her clients are parents of Frahm's students. "She is so well loved."
Depa dropped by the salon one day wearing the T-shirt that people at school are wearing in support of Frahm.
"She's an inspiration. She is very dedicated to her students. She would come to school even though she was undergoing treatments," Depa said.
Frahm said the feeling she had Sunday was indescribable.
"I'm completely over- whelmed and touched," she said. "Everybody coming together, and all the time and energy and effort they put in to put this together. I'm just absolutely touched and I feel blessed."
At times, the chemotherapy has left her so lethargic, she could barely walk.
"We're just trying to find the chemotherapy that could calm down this cancer. It's been hard, but I have faith in my friends and my family that's gotten me through this whole long journey," she said. "I'm just so thankful for today and thankful for just everything that God has blessed me with."
Among those who visited the salon were teachers from District 57.
Mount Prospect resident Michele Logar, a former fellow teacher at Lions Park who now teaches Fairview Elementary School, said Frahm is hard working and very committed to her students.
"All of her colleagues in District 57 want to do everything they can to support her during this difficult period."
One of Frahm's three children, daughter Gabriele, 22, came to Sunday's fundraiser.
"It's hard, but with her being as strong as she is, she makes it a little bit easier," Gabriele Frahm said.
Haas said anyone who didn't make it to Haircuts for Hope but still wants to help can bring donations to the salon.