The short: Amelia Frahm helped pioneer cancer resources for children. She is 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!
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 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 just 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 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. Ironically 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 wasn’t 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 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.
Amelia Frahm helped pioneer cancer resources for children and was the first cancer survivor to write and implement a cancer awareness school program for elementary children. She’s a contributor to, How we became Breast Cancer Thrivers, and creator of Crack Open a Book! cancer education curriculum
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 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’s appeared on radio and TV segments across the country and is a member of the National Cancer Survivors Day speaker’s bureau. She still thrives on planning events and her company often participates in fundraisers and special events designed to educate, entertain, and raise money to promote cancer awareness. A few years ago, much to the surprise of colleagues and ire of some family members, Frahm took a sabbatical in Mesa, Arizona, where she trained, was awarded her wings, and for a short while, flew across the country, as a Flight Attendant. It took two decades but she checked off her childhood fantasy of becoming a Flight Attendant saying, “After cancer I quit fantasizing about what I wanted to do; now I just do it.”
She is still a frequent flyer and commutes between Decatur, Alabama, where her husband, Randy works, and their home in Raleigh, North Carolina. The children she wrote her books for are now young adults. Her daughter, Tabitha graduated suma cum laude from North Carolina University in December 2011, and her son, Jordan is a Junior at Western Carolina University.