The short: Amelia Frahm helped pioneer cancer resources for children. She is the owner of Nutcracker Publishing Company, author of the award-winning Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy, a contributor to the inspirational How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers, and creator of Crack Open a Book! education curriculums. In December 2011 she released another award-winning children’s picture book, Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!
In October of 2013 she was honored to be the recipient of the Susan G. Komen Triangle to the Coast Maureen Thomas Jordan Spirit of Survivorship Award. She’s a member of the National Cancer Survivors Day speakers’ bureau, and founding member of the Go Nuclear, Inc. Board of Advisors.
Today she resides in Rockwood, Tennessee.
And the long version: Amelia Frahm grew up on a farm in the Florida Panhandle. She inherited her gift for writing from her father, who taught her that the best way to complain about it, was to write about it, and often asked her to type a letter to the local newspaper’s editorial section.
A graduate of the University of Florida, she obtained a degree in Public Relations/Journalism, not because she had a passion for writing, but because she fantasized about becoming a Flight Attendant, and a public relations degree was recommended. Unintentionally Frahm had found her niche; she loved her PR courses. Frahm thrived on planning and executing special events and had a flair for coming up with innovative and creative ideas. So, she opted to begin her professional career on the ground, and was hired to convince a Texas public to build a nuclear power plant in their backyard. It was after the Three Mile Island Incident and during the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. She immediately learned the importance of making the complex and technical into something the public could understand and find interesting.
She has written and implemented public relations events from Texas to Tennessee on such diverse issues as nuclear power and recreational activities for nursing home residents. It was Frahm’s personal life which led to her publishing career. Her children were two and four years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although her prognosis was excellent, she was surprised to discover her attitude didn’t always reflect the gratitude she felt. She was even more surprised to discover there was not a children’s book to help explain her cancer-tankerous behavior to her children. Undaunted, she wrote her own book and sent it to a parade of publishers…who all turned it down.
When another young mother, Frahm’s best friend, Laura Karlman, was diagnosed with cancer five years later and there still wasn’t a children’s book picturing an irritable, moody, and – in Karlman’s case – bald Mommy with cancer, Frahm decided to publish her own book. In October of 2000 Frahm was summoned from her home in Hutchinson, Minnesota to Houston, Texas, to say goodbye to Karlman, who passed away on October 27, 2000, leaving behind two young children.
Back home in Minnesota, Frahm fulfilled a promise she had made her friend and dedicated the Nutcracker Publishing Company to Laura Bouldin Karlman. A year later Nutcracker Publishing introduced Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy, where it was recommended live on the Rosie O Donnell Talk Show. The cancellation of Frahm’s personal appearance on the show due to Anthrax being found at NBC studios at Rockefeller Plaza, where the O Donnell show aired, propelled her into the national spotlight and earned her a reputation for outstanding public relations management amongst her publishing colleagues.
Frahm helped pioneer cancer resources for children, and was the first cancer survivor to write and implement a cancer awareness school program for elementary students.
BUT the very first school program she created was one about nuclear power plants when she worked at the South Texas Project Nuclear Power Plant located near Bay City, Texas. She always wished for a more creative format to teach students about nuclear energy and was adding the final touches to Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works! when Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster made headlines. She knew from past experience that in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster a children’s book about nuclear power plants would not be a welcome edition on everyone’s bookshelf, but said, “I believe that fear, whether it’s of cancer, nuclear power, or a cat named Penelope, is fueled by a lack of knowledge and misinformation.”
In December of 2011 she released her controversial and award-winning children’s picture book, Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works!
Frahm still thrives on planning events and her company often participates in fundraisers and special events designed to educate, entertain, and raise awareness.
It took her several decades, but even before the eponymous movie popularized the term “Bucket List” Frahm had checked off her childhood fantasy of becoming a Flight Attendant. “After cancer I quit fantasizing about what I wanted to do; now I just do it,” she says. While she still has not managed to check off Blogger Butt, her latest bucket list accomplishment was hiking up the “S” curve located where she now resides in the Tennessee Mountains.
The real Tabitha and Jordan are now adults. Amelia, along with her husband Randy, has spent the last several years building what they hope will be their last house! She likes to say she’s almost retired.