Paula Orcutt Thomas
Paula Thomas was a loving wife, mother, and friend. She lived her life on earth to the fullest and loved everyone in it. In the 20 years she lived in Clear Lake raising her family, Paula was an advocate for public education. She worked hard to promote community support of schools and to provide young women resources to pursue careers in math and science. When a change in jobs brought her husband to Fort Worth, Paula joined him after becoming an empty nester and was quickly able to find a rich and supportive community in her new church - Arborlawn United Methodist. In the spring of 2011, Paula was diagnosed with early stage colon cancer. A re-sectioning surgery appeared to take care of it, but a year later symptoms returned. A following surgery resulted in Paula being diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer with metastases to the peritoneal wall. Just as she had worked vigorously in all her other causes, Paula took on cancer with the same vivacious spirit and pursuit of success we all knew her for. Unfortunately there was a bump along the road as we discovered she possessed the KRAS-mutant gene. This narrowed her treatment options significantly, and after a year and a half she had stopped responding to all available treatments. One of Paula's biggest frustrations with her cancer was the K-RAS mutation and the limitations it put on her. She was always a trailblazer, pushing forward down clinical trial paths beyond standard treatment. With this in mind, we have established the Paula Thomas - Trailblazer Memorial Fund. All proceeds will go towards the Blue Hope Research Grant from the Colon Cancer Alliance, an award that is given to post-doctorate researchers who are investigating the KRAS gene, its mutation, and how to better treat patients with this same problem. With your help, Paula's legacy of improving the lives of others through tireless pursuit will be carried on. We thank you for your contributions.