EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Ray’s Food Place stores came together Friday to give a big chunk of change to the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute.
The check, made out for $8,561 dollars, was handed over to Josh Kermisch, executive director for WVCI Friday morning with the promise that more will be donated in the future.
Ray’s Food Place manager Jay Payne told NewsSource 16 the money was raised through a “round-up” program at their registers. Because they focus on local stores and local people, they felt WVCI was the most deserving facility to receive their customers’ money.
“We have a lot of people come through who know someone with breast cancer or have had it themselves,” Payne said.
Also in attendance Friday was Maria Eitrem, a breast cancer patient at WVCI. She spoke about how donations like Rays’ make a difference.
“It's scary when at certain times you're trying to, you know you have this budget that you're used to making and you're working and you're not on disability…it just made such a big difference not having to worry so much,” she said.
Eitrem said it’s the things you don’t think about that pile up, like utility bills and gas money to get to and from appointments.
Eitrem was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. She is now facing the last stages of reconstruction.
WVCI offers a couple of different programs at their facility providing extras to their patients. One example of their extras happened last week when they were able to give away four donated tickets to the Rose Bowl. Kermisch said its those opportunities that they like to give to provide memorable experiences away from the thoughts of cancer.
"Its really important part of the healing process to keep the amount of stress a patients under as low as possible while they're in treatment," said Kermisch.
To donate to WVCI, click here.