Who Was Paula?

A story about a woman named Paula Tower

Many people knew Paula. She was a person that you could never forget. Her sister Cathy called her the Human Sparkler—it was a name that Paula loved. It described her to a tea.

Paula worked at The Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care for 16 years. She truly had a passion for her work. She was always cheerful, helpful and most of all she enjoyed educating her patients. I am estimating that in the 16 years that Paula was part of our team she cared for well over 30,000 patients.

Paula TowerPaula was one of the founding members of Gundersen Health System's In the Pink screening mammography incentive program. She brought exciting ideas and amazing energy to this project.

Paula was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2004. She was only 39 years old. Paula did not let this slow her down—in fact it seemed to give her a new found energy to speak out, to do more for women in our community. She truly shined at our Evening of Hope Benefit for Cancer. She added much of her Paula sparkle to the evening and helped make it successful! She shared her positive attitude and delivered the message of Hope!

As Paula went through chemotherapy, she shared her journey. She welcomed cameras into her life. With passion she talked about her diagnosis. Her message will continue to educate new cancer patients. Her wish was that it might make other people’s journey easier.

Paula’s body surrendered to her cancer in June 2007. But she never allowed it to affect her spirit. She remained very positive throughout all of her journey with cancer. Paula had an amazing amount of energy—perhaps somehow she knew she only had a short time to accomplish a lifetime of wishes. She is greatly missed by her family, her friends, and her patients.

The Paula’s Purse Cancer Care Fund was created to provide financial assistance to those battling all types of cancer—not just breast cancer. It also honors Paula’s legacy, the difference that just one person can make … the Power of One.
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