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Wisconsin man bikes 1500 miles for organ donor awareness

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Organ Trail Biking Expedition PKG

GORHAM (WSIL) -- A Wisconsin man is biking from his home state to Louisiana to raise awareness of the need for organ donors.

On his route he made a few stops in Southern Illinois.

"I just immediately responded that, hey if you need a kidney I can give you one of mine," says Mark Scotch, Organizer and Kidney Donor.

64-year-old Mark Scotch's journey began a year ago when he met Hugh Smith, a man in need of a kidney.

"Never would've expected that he was in stage five renal failure, doing dialysis ten hours everynight. His attitide was so good. It did somehow impress upon me, hey this guy is so happy, he deserves a better shake than that," states Mark.

That's when Mark decided to donate his kidney. His kidney was not a match for Hugh, but it helped him move higher on the waiting list.

"They find the best match and I wanted Hugh to have the best match too. The odds of him and I being the best match were pretty small. I went and did my surgery September 30th. When they found a match for me my kidney actually went to the best match at the time which is New York," explains Mark.

Hugh received his new kidney in February, resulting in not one but two lives being saved. Now Scotch is completing a 15-hundred mile bike ride back to where they met in hopes to raise awareness on the need for organ donors.

"I found out 13 people are dying everyday because of a lack of transplants. Deceased donors, we're all deceased donors or many of us are on our drivers licenses but I found out that only three in a thousand people die in such a way that their organs can be used," says Mark.

Mark says his it's not about the ride but the people who need help. "If you go online to like National Kidney Foundation and Facebook page there are people begging for somebody to, hey I need a kidney I've been on dialysis for five years. Those are the people that I really, really want to help."

Mark plans to complete the last few miles of his ride with Hugh followed by a celebration. For more information on Mark's journey and how you can donate to the cause click here and here.

Jacie Brianne

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