FARGO — A beloved grandmother in the final stages of a cancer fight had one last wish granted: a manicure.
Kylee Helgeson said she owes a lot of her personality to her grandmother, Bev Ranum.
"She's very wild," Helgeson said. "Anyone who knows her knows that she is full of life and sass. I mean, that's definitely where I got my personality from, for sure."
Then came a lung cancer diagnosis. While in remission from that, Ranum got an unrelated colon cancer diagnosis. Her days were numbered, but Helgeson said "Grams" is a fighter.
"They said she had six months to live; that was five years ago," Helgeson recalled. "No one can say she didn't fight, for sure."
It was five years fought well, beating the odds 10 times over. But this summer, things began to decline.
"Within the past month, she's been at Roger Maris, getting fluids almost daily, and eventually she just said I can't do it anymore," Helgeson said.
Ranum decided it was time to ride this out at home with her family, but there was still a loose end she needed to fix — her nails.
"She's been asking for the past few weeks to go get our nails done," Helgeson said. "She hasn't been able to walk very well, and with COVID, we're like, you don't need to go out and do that."
Growing up, Helgeson used to always get her nails done with Ranum. She asked a Facebook group if someone could do it.
Word got to Ebony James, a certified medical assistant and certified nursing assistant at Kinder Care assisted living in West Fargo. While treating clients, James is known to help do their nails from time to time.
"It was my only day off, and my boss here, she texted me and said, 'Hey, look at this post. I thought about you.' And when I was reading the post, I was just like, I'll do it," James said.
"So I texted her and I said, hey, would you be able to do this for me?" Helgeson recalled.
"Originally I said, what about Thursday? She said I don't really know if she's going to have that long, and I said I'm on my way," James said.
She was at Ranum's house within about two hours, according to Helgeson.
"I was welcomed with open arms and Ms. Bev was laying on the couch," James described. "She picked out the aqua color she got on her fingers and she was just like, 'I like them.' Her husband was just like, 'Do you like them?' And she just smiled. She did say she wanted them cut short. She said, 'I'll go short this time.' "
"She doesn't say much anymore, she kind of sleeps most of the time, but whenever she has a visitor, she'll take her hands out and say, 'just got em done.' " Helgeson said.
For James, she said this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
"How amazing is that?" James asked. "To be able to touch someone one last time and do her nails, something so simple to me."
Helgeson said Ranum is spending her final hours around family, still enjoying her aqua blue nails.