The Innisfil and Barrie community is mourning the loss of a dear friend and devoted mother after recently losing her battle with cancer.
Fifty-year-old Paula Chamberlain had been battling Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer since 2019, which eventually spread to her bones, lungs, brain and hips.
Toward the end of her battle, she became very weak, unable to work, but remained emotionally strong for her family, before peacefully passing away on Sept. 24.
Chamberlain leaves behind her husband Sean, and three children, Reese, Conor and Amanda.
In the summer, her good friend of eight years, Gail Davies, started a Go Fund Me Page for the family to help with her therapy costs and equipment to keep her comfortable at home.
Her neighbours on Sandlawood Court also rallied together to present her with a garden outside her home to enjoy and lift her spirits. And a local bakery had even brought her free baked goods every Saturday and donated proceeds of their sales to the fundraiser.
Chamberlain, who rarely liked asking for help, was touched by the community's generosity and support.
Her family and friends are devastated by the loss, but will always remember Paula as a strong, courageous and inspirational woman.
"My mom was always trying her absolute best to make sure my brother and I had everything we needed to succeed," said her daughter Reese. "Her laugh lit up the room and was contagious. She was always her goofy self and it didn’t matter who was watching. She was insanely strong. She didn’t give up no matter how hard things got. My mom will leave a legacy with everybody she graced."
Her husband, Sean, is thankful for the support he has been receiving over the past few difficult weeks.
"I just wanted to thank all the people who helped support her and our family, and still do. Donating time, money, services and friendship was an incredible realization of how many people care in a world that seems otherwise," he said.
"Paula is an inspiration to all of us. She never gave up and kept going no matter how tough it got. Her children, friends and family are stronger because of an amazing woman and her strive to live and be positive. We will carry your strength and remember you always," said Davies.
"Paula was a wonderful friend and was taken from us far too soon," said one friend, Stephanie Varga. "I will miss our friendship and the time we spent together. I witnessed this courageous woman fight as hard as she could to the very end and I will never forget her. May she finally be pain free and at peace."
"Paula was a fighter. She outlived her prognosis by almost a year," said Robin Allen, Paula's sister.
A viewing and virtual funeral service was held last weekend in Barrie for Paula.
Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated by the family.