Meriden Woman Has Friends And Family Rallying Around Her Through Tough Time

MERIDEN, Kan. (WIBW) -- After the Jostens plant closed down, it affected many jobs, but for one Meriden woman, it affected her in more ways than one.

Athough Paula Debacker has fallen upon some hard times, she is keeping a positive attitude surrounded by friends and family.

Paula worked for the Jostens plant in Topeka for thirty years, almost as long as she's been married. So when it closed down in September, she wondered how she was going to get by.

"Everything kind of hit all at once," she said.

In the fall, Paula was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Spindle Cell Lymphoma, around the same time Jostens closed its doors.

As medical bills began to roll in, she started to worry, but things changed for the better.

"The new year came around, I got my job, I got diagnosed and I started chemo," she said, "it was just great!"

Her new job at Kansas Orthopedic Sports Medicine is adding to her positive attitude.

"What are you going to do about it? You got to take it and just go with it, and I try to live by that rule."

Her sisters decided to do something nice for Paula to help with expenses, in the form of a chili-soup benefit and silent auction at their local church.

Paula is overcome with gratitude. "It feels great. I feel like I have a lot of love and that everybodys there to support me," she said. "It feels wonderful. I know I have a lot of angels out there."

With the benefit coming, she has a lot of mixed emotions.

"It feels a little weird because, I mean I know I'm sick, but I don't feels sick. And I don't want to be sick and I'm not going to be."

This is what she tells herself everyday.

"It's just a minor detour in this thing called life."

The soup and chili is all home-made and will be served to anyone who wants to attend. It doesn't cost anything, but the family encourages free-will donations.

The silent auction will feature various items such as a free oil change from Briggs Kia in Topeka, goodie baskets and other home-made goods.

It is held at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Saturday, March 9 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Meriden.


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