Hi, I’m Paula

I’m the President of Power On With Limb Loss.

Following an accident on a motorcycle, I chose to have my foot amputated. The fear and anxiety about losing my foot was relieved by a peer visitor who challenged me to do any, and everything, that I had done before I lost of my foot. I want to make sure that every amputee has the  experience of having a peer visitor to talk to, ask questions, and be empowered by.

In addition to peer visits for recent amputeers, we also provide monthly support meetings, Conferences, and physical activities to help empower amputees to challenge themselves and find new ways of succeeding.

Before founding Power On For Limb Loss, I have been a cosmetologist for 45 years. During my career I’ve owned salons and managed a beauty supply. I am the proud mother of two children. In 1999-2003 I managed a group home for physically, medically, and developmentally challenged people. I took this job because I have a son with autism, and I needed to learn the ins and outs of the system.

Becoming an Amputee

I have been an amputee for almost 7 years. Since becoming an amputee I’ve been very active, I am a double certified peer visitor for Ampower and Amputee Coalition, and have planned several amputee events. I have ran sixteen 5ks, three Dirty Dash’s, multiple obstacle courses, and ran in two 5 miles in a relay race. To date my best is running two, Butte to Butte 10ks up and down hills. Quite an accomplishment for a 64 year old amputee! I also have formed some teams with amputees, family, and friends for doing some of the 5k runs, the biggest team was 16 with 5 being amputees. I’ve realize that I am just getting started and on my way to planning bigger and better events!


Founding Power on with Limb Loss

I founded Power On With Limb Loss because I saw a huge need for a local support organization within the Lane County area. Where we could really help amputees and physically challenged individuals feel inspired and have the support they need. Whether that is coming to our monthly support group meetings, doing fundraisers for newer prosthetics, or simply having someone to listen and talk with them who can fully relate.

Amputee Support Group Meetings are available in Lane County.
Meetings are also available in Salem, OR,  Bend, OR, and Vancouver, WA.

Meet Our Board

These incredible individuals are are responsible for helping Power On With Limb Loss make an impact. They come from different backgrounds and provide great insight, and knowledge, so I am honored to have them on our board. – Paula

Debbie Zavala
I’m a Service Dispatcher at Associated Heating and Air Conditioning.
I wanted to be part of this non profit to bring awareness to the fact that you can accomplish anything no matter what challenges you are facing. My Dad was a below the knee amputee in the 1970s due to diabetes  .I wanted to be part of something that I can see people overcome obstacles and do whatever they set their mind to!

Karen Niemi
Attended the University of Minnesota and Wisconsin indianhead Technical College.  Retired HR Representative, Administrative Accounting and Payroll manager.  Currently self employed jewelry maker, beading and silversmithing. Seeing my friend Paula excited about her nonprofit got me excited.  Love the opportunity of giving back to our community with Power On With Limb Loss.

Kevin Cardosa
Attended the business program at Lane Community College. 
Occupation: Sales, online marketing. I am an amputee. I electively had my left arm removed above the elbow because I paralyzed it in 2013 in a motorcycle accident that nearly took my life. I believe in positivity, adaption, and leading others into the same mindset. I am also passionate about technology and love helping others to learn. I look forward to sharing and contributing.


Marilyn Rice

In April of 2017, I lost my left leg. Being new to the amputee world gives me the opportunity to bring in fresh perspective, knowledge and energy to the table. When I was amputated, my family was very distraught, panicky and anxious. I was able to ease my family’s fears because I had  worked with Paula and witnessed Paula lead an active, productive and engaging life – this gave me the knowledge and foresight knowing that everything would be okay.


Rod Free
Rod is a founding member of Power On With Limb Loss and he is the Director of Donations specializing in donations in-kind. Rod is retired, but spends his time look for ways to improve the lives of amputees by discovering new actities and sponsors who are willing to help local amputees empower themselves. Like Rod says, “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization that truly inspires not only the individuals involved but the entire community.”

Tracey Poupa
Is a nationally certified Activity Director. I’ve had the privilege of working with seniors as an Activity Director since 1983. I’m a member of the National Certification Council of Activity Professionals. For twenty years I participated actively with national, state, and local Activity Associations. I organized and facilitated 2 state conventions and over 80 workshops for activity professionals. I was an educational speaker, training others about activity programming, even wrote a book on the subject. My job is about bringing joy to others and it is incredibly rewarding. I love the POWER ON mission and the work of the organization. I appreciate being a small part of all the successes that are happening.

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