Jul 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm
GUATEMALA CITY / ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - The work and legacy of Karin Reichensperger were honored this weekend by Guatemala City fiefighters, as arrangements to return her body to St. Cloud were made.
Emergency personnel, in full uniform, stood watch over The MESSAGE Program founder's casket, which was returned to the Uniited States on Saturday.
Reichensperger, a 1999 graduate of St. Cloud State University, participated in relief work in support of numerous other organizations before founding the The MESSAGE Program (which stands for Medical/Dental/EMS/Fire supplies Shared Around Globally with Education) in 2003.
She passed away last week of complications following a surgery to relieve pain caused by migraine headaches. She was in Guatemala overseeing shipment of donated hospital and firefighting/EMS equipment - the mission of her organization for a decade.
Diane Reichensperger-Nohner tells KNSI the vigil (pictured) offered a touching glimpse into just what kind of an impact her sister's work made on the community.
"Word spread very quickly in Guatemala - shock waves, really," Reichensperger-Nohner says. "Karin was very present, and very instrumental in advancing health care. And I think the one thing Karin would wish to come out of this is for people to realize what we take for granted here in the US."
Reichensperger's visitation is scheduled between 3-9 p.m. Tuesday and 9-10 a.m. Wednesday at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home. Her funeral is at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
For more on Reichensperger's work, visit www.themessageprogram.org