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Ramiro “Ram” Vargas was in rough shape in 2015. His doctor told him kidney failure was imminent. Ram, 31 years old at the time, was 400 pounds, and would need to lose half of his weight before he’d be eligible for a kidney transplant. He had gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss, and was put on dialysis. Ten months after his surgery, Ram was down to 145 pounds, but he was still spending twelve hours a day in dialysis, and the medical expenses were piling up. He couldn’t work at his previous job with the state, so in his limited free time Ram and his wife, Nidia, cooked smoked chicken plates for sale. “My main goal was never to be in barbecue or start a…
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