In the U.S., two-thirds of people who went bankrupt last year did so because of medical debt. “I’m a surgeon. I started hearing stories of patients experiencing financial burdens that were unfathomable to me… I realized I need to try to make things different,” says Dr. Demetrio Aguila. And he did; through his M25 Program, patients are able to pay for their surgery by volunteering at a charitable organization to avoid going into medical debt. Not only can the patient fulfill the volunteer hours, but so can friends, family, neighbors and even strangers. “In this way, we help take care of the patient, we help take care of the community. We have neighbors helping neighbors.”

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