By JIM MISUNAS
One of Tammy Lynn Byerly’s lowest moments came when she was physically unable to wash her own hair.
Byerly put aside her pride and asked for help from her friends at Head Quarters Salon. Byerly, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, said her friends and family have provided encouraged through her battle for her life.
“I’ve done things my whole life on my own, and it’s tough to put your pride on the ground,” Byerly said. “You have to be willing to accept the help of others.”
Stylists at the Head Quarters salon in downtown Great Bend donated their services for haircuts and raised more than $2,000 at 1104 Main Street Saturday to benefit Byerly.
Head Quarters carried the vibe of a festival with light-hearted music playing in the background with customers, very young to those with more life experience, waiting their turn.
“When I couldn’t wash my own hair, they came through for me,” Byerly said. “This benefit isn’t the only thing these women have done for me. People like Kim Oberle push me to be positive every day. She won’t let me give up hope.”
The Roger Hickey Memorial Fundraiser was the idea of Head Quarters stylist Janelle Hickey who lost her husband to cancer three years ago. The stylists recognize and help someone in the community each year.
They believe by helping an individual fighting cancer through donations, they express their support and offer hope and prayers that things will get better.
It’s worked for Byerly, who makes periodic trips to Kansas City for treatment. She said she’s doing well so far and appreciates the support, prayers and travel companions.
“I was very surprised and very grateful that I was chosen. I felt honored and privileged,” Byerly said. “I am not alone. Most people have a family member or someone they know who is fighting some type of cancer.”
Byerly has kept close connections with her daughter, Alissa, who she is especially proud of.
“Sometimes, you just need people you love to be there,” she said. “It’s pretty cool when you see people you don’t even know doing something to help a stranger.”
Stylists Janelle Hickey, Brenda Ramey, Karen Riedl, Kayci Boxberger, Janay Mayhugh, Kat Evers and Oberle wore purple outfits and donated their services for haircuts.
“We want to help someone in a difficult time. This is a small thing to help someone out through donations,” said stylist Kim Oberle. “We pick someone different to benefit every year. Our customers are part of our family. We’ve lost some customers who are very dear for us.”
Annetta Schaub, the beneficiary two years ago, assisted in the fundraising effort Saturday. Schaub, a mother of four children, has undergone surgery to remove a tumor and a bone and has taken chemotherapy treatment.
Scentsy, Pink Zebra and Premiere Jewelry sales at Head Quarters were donated. Liz Bowman with Symmetry Massage will provide chair massages.
Hot dogs, chips and refreshments were served for a free-will offering. Oberle said local businesses donated money and merchandise. Special services and prizes were awarded through a drawing.