Kidney donors ride a bicycle 1,600 miles to raise awareness of living kidney donors

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New Buffalo, Michigan — A kidney donor from Madison, Wisconsin traveled 1,600 miles from Massachusetts to raise awareness for those who need kidneys.

The 65-year-old Mark Scotch is not just a marathon cyclist, he is also a living kidney donor. After donating his right kidney in September 2020, he wants to redouble his efforts.

“When I decided to become a donor, it was just a split decision,” Mark Scotch said

This split decision will save the life of 56-year-old Hugh Smith.

The two met in a bar in a small town in Louisiana in 2020, completely strangers.

Later, the Scot found a person in New York who needed a kidney. Although the Scot was not Smith’s, he became a voucher donor, placing him on the top of the 100,000 list.

“So, I know you can donate a kidney and live, I just don’t know how good you can live-and because I am very active in endurance sports, I thought I would still donate a kidney, even if I had to change my lifestyle ,” the Scot said

After donating his kidneys, his plan was to get back on the road for a bigger goal.

“In order to ride, I decided that not enough people knew some of the things we learned,” Scotch said.

What Scotch will experience on his first journey in the spring of 2021, when he biked from Madison, Wisconsin to a small town in Louisiana, where he met Hugh Smith and drove a total of 1,500 miles.

Now in the fall, Scotch whisky has embarked on a 1,600-mile journey starting at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts on September 19 and stopping in Plover, Wisconsin on October 16.

Take him on a journey through Michiana.

“Due to the lack of kidney transplantation, 13 people die every day, so my wife and I decided to turn cycling into an awareness-raising ride, just to educate people,” Scotch said.

He is bringing this awareness to his doorstep and sharing it with other donors.

Like the family who lived with him on Saturday night, they opened the door to Mark and his wife.

Donor Cristina Fontana said: “As a former kidney donor, what better way can I help another kidney donor do amazing things to raise people’s awareness of kidney donation? It means I can’t refuse”

“The most important thing to know is that you can donate a kidney, save someone’s life, and still return to your life, no matter what it is,” Scotland said.

Mark will be on the road again from St. Joseph, Michigan on Sunday morning, and then head to Muskegon, Michigan to continue his 1,600-mile ride.



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