Remembering a life on Valentine's Day - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Remembering a life on Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is more than a day for couples. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, a woman who lost her life is being remembered in a pay-it-forward sort of way by some local businesses. 

Attitudes & Nail Images unveiled a special project to help people in our community. 

The idea started just a few years ago when a lifelong Peoria resident Colleen Kellerman was struggling to get up the stairs. 

In 2013 she was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a rare, terminal disease that took her life in 2016.

She came to Attitudes & Nail Images in East Peoria two weeks after her diagnosis because this places always brightened her spirits. 

"She was just full of life," said owner Dawn Page. 

Kellerman spent her life bringing joy to others.

The salon also has a foundation called Attitudes for A Cause. Their goal is to help anyone in need.

"She could come down here and escape from her pain and the disease and be with friends and I was always willing to share her because she'd come back a happier lady. To the very end this place was her home away from home to get away," said Larry Kellerman, husband of the late Colleen Kellerman. 

Dawn and her team would lift Colleen's wheelchair up stairs, which was pretty tough. 

"Dawn would come out and grab the front end of the wheelchair and I'd grab the back end and we would carry her up the steps," said Kellerman. 

In 2014 another customer, a Bradley professor, saw their effort and wanted to help. She got a hold of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Bradley and they started raising funds to build a ramp.

Wednesday the ramp was dedicated to Colleen, called Queen Colleen's Ramp. 

"The disease beats you. The disease beats down the caregiver, family, friends and ultimately the patient right to death. In this case I believe the MSA beast got beat today," stated Kellerman. 

Big-serving hearts and many hands, a fitting gesture for this holiday of love. 

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