When Ryan Johnson, owner of Suburban Pool Service (Folsom, Calif.) stopped by the property for the first time, he was taken aback by what he saw — grounds in disarray:
"The fence was falling over, the grass was 3 feet high, the yard and the bushes were all overgrown," he says.
The pool was so dirty that it was black. "It looked like a foreclosed home in back," he adds.
He'd been called to the home by Amanda Sigal, who hoped to provide some respite for a family in distress. Sigal explained that her husband, Shahar, has a rare kidney disease and is on dialysis, waiting for a donor. The family had planned to take a vacation to Disneyland, but couldn't due to Shahar's condition. Sigal instead hoped that if the pool could be restored, her husband could sit with the kids and enjoy a backyard staycation.
"I was practically in tears over it," Johnson says. "The pool pump was down, the filters were busted, the pool was black. It's summertime, so everybody's busy. I wanted to do something about this."
He called his Zodiac rep Jason Anderson, who donated a pump and filter right then and there. "I was blown away," Johnson says.
Johnson also shared Sigal's story with Jamie Lopez, office manager at Suburban Pool Service and co-creator of the Folsom Dream Team, a group of local business owners and nonprofit organizations that do charitable work in the community.
"I got the rest of the Dream Team committee together and went over what the specs were," Lopez says. "They all agreed that we would do what we could to help this family. Some of the other people in our group found other business owners and volunteers who would come and help with the yard cleanup."
Nearly 20 volunteers spent several hours fixing up the Sigal's yard, including fixing the fence and cutting the overgrown plants. Over the course of several trips, Johnson restored the pool to swim condition by installing the new filter and pump and bringing the water back to balance.
"The pool looks beautiful," Lopez says. "The equipment is absolutely gorgeous. It's really an amazing story and it all started with Ryan."
Learn More: To learn more about the Sigal family, including how you can help Shahar secure a new kidney, visit facebook.com/akidneyforshahar.