Paula O’Neil felt a lump in her breast and had it checked many times, but it never proved worrisome. But in May 2013, at age 56, she was surprised to learn that she had Stage 2 breast cancer. During her work as the clerk and comptroller for Pasco County, O’Neil met H. Lee Moffitt, the founder of Moffitt Cancer Center. After meeting him and hearing about Moffitt’s mission, she had no doubt where she would go for cancer treatment.
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida. Moffitt is also one of the top-ranked cancer hospitals in the Southeast, according to U.S. News & World Report. Their multispecialty team works together to help patients and families find the right diagnosis, treatment and support – all in one place.
O’Neil underwent three surgeries at Moffitt, including a single mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. Dr. Han recalls “Ms. Paula O’Neil is truly inspirational to all women who face breast cancer. From the time of the diagnosis, she maintained a positive outlook on an often devastating diagnosis. Over the course of her treatment she encountered many roadblocks, but through it all remained positive and would simply ask, ‘Okay, what can I do?’ It was my pleasure being a part of Ms. O’Neil’s treatment team.”
O’Neil, a single mom with two grown sons, now enjoys sharing her new outlook on life. She loves the outdoors. She plays racquetball, bikes and is an avid sports fan that loves all the Tampa Bay teams, especially the Buccaneers. O’Neil is also an active supporter of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program. She uses every opportunity to share her story and spread the word on fighting cancer.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-MOFFITT (663-3488) or visit MOFFITT.org.