In the mountains of Guatemala, in a small Mayan village called Xepatan, is a house. A newly constructed house that sits in stark contrast to the cane and dirt floor homes found throughout the rest of this farming town. This house was built by volunteers from Constru Casa — a nonprofit organization that works to improve the housing conditions of Guatemalans living in extreme poverty. The one-room concrete home is similar to other homes the organization has built, save for one distinctive feature: a small dedication plaque that reads, in part, "Constructed in Honor of Mikel Prieto, M.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff."
The man who hung it there, Ronald Sack, tells us the dedication was a "small gesture" of his appreciation for the life-saving kidney transplant Dr. Prieto and his surgical team at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus performed on him two years ago. That transplant has allowed Ron to continue doing the kind of humanitarian homebuilding he loves. "I received a gift I can never begin to repay," Ron says of his kidney transplant. "I got a second chance at life. And so now I look at helping others who I don't expect to ever pay me back as just one small thing I can do to, in some small way, to try to repay some of the gift I was given by Dr. Prieto and Mayo Clinic. That's why we dedicated this house to them." Read the rest of the story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.