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Friends fill woman's bucket list
In the toughest days of her life, Eileen Payment has been surrounded by the love of her friends and family.
The long time certified dental assistant at Seabird Island Dental Clinic has been undergoing cancer treatment over the past five months. After experiencing some pain, she went in for a pap smear and was found to have vaginal cancer.
The Mission resident was already a part of the Underwear Affair, a fundraising run/walk which seeks to uncover the cure for below the waist cancers.
Now, many of her teammates from that event are running full tilt to help her with an item on her so-called bucket list. Some of them they can't help with — being on the Ellen Show, going on a motorcycle ride with her cousin, and soaring in a hot air balloon ride, for starters. Many of those things seem impossible right now, with Payment struggling to survive in hospital, in Abbotsford.
But there is one thing that can be done right away, one thing that can be done in her honour, while she fights for her life.
"One of the most important things to her is to help the homeless," said her friend Bev Rossner.
So, Rossner and a few others have rallied together to try to raise money for the food bank, as one way to help the homeless. They are collecting online, and through the dental clinic where Payment worked for the last 10 or her 30-plus years in the dental profession. All the money raised will go toward the Agassiz-Harrison Community Services food bank.
So far, they've managed to raise, $830, and the donations keep coming. But that's not all her friends have done for her.
Rossner and L.A. Miele got together to create video, documenting their efforts. They interviewed her co-workers and gathered photographs. And on the weekend, they visited the hospital to show her the video.
"She cried from beginning to end and was so touched by the video," Rossner said.
They are hoping to reach $1,000 in donations, to help Payment see one of her dreams come true. Donations can be dropped off at Seabird Island Dental Clinic, or at the food bank in Eileen Payment's name. They chose to donate to the Agassiz area because of Payment's love for the area, and her connection with her patients at the clinic.
"She really cares about this community," Rossner said.
The need to help their friend comes from an unabashed love for her, and all she represents.
"It's all about the love," Miele said. "Love is the most important thing."