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Plover man returns home Saturday after a 1,600 mile bike ride from Massachusetts

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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PLOVER, Wis. (WSAW) - Over 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney. One man, Mark Scotch is making it his mission to raise awareness on kidney disease and kidney donations.

Mark Scotch rode all the way from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts back to Plover. He started his second 1,000-mile+ journey Sept. 19.

“It’s just fun for me I just like riding, so I always find something to look at something to do,” living kidney donor, Mark Scotch said.

Scotch said he enjoys the scenery while riding for a mission, on what he calls “The Organ Trail.”

“It just struck me so hard personally when I heard that so many people are dying every day because of the lack of kidneys and 13 every day seems like a large number, but it’s also a number we can affect as individuals,” he said.

This mission started around a year ago, right after he decided to donate his kidney.

“...Also demonstrate that you can go back to a normal life, I mean I’m not 25-years-old you know I’m not a super athlete or anything I’m just a normal guy,” he said.

While riding to spread his message, Mark meets people along the way. One of those people is Jim Brien.

“I am a 39 year kidney recipient,” said Jim Brien, who got his kidney from his brother. “And it was a perfect match and all has been going well.”

Brien was one of the people who welcomed Mark home from his trip Saturday. They both said they are inspirations to each other.

“Each other yes,” Brien said. “We’re kind of on the opposite ends of it, he’s a recipient and I’m a donor,” Scotch added. “To learn from each other,” I asked. And, they both replied with “yes.”

The bottom line for Scotch is raising awareness for kidney donations and body functionality after donating.

“There’s an urgent need, people are dying, and if people are healthy enough to donate a kidney, they are healthy enough to go back to what they were doing, I think that’s the key,” Scotch said.

One of his stops along the way back home was in New York because he said that’s where his kidney ended up going.

Scotch is also a Humankind finalist in USA Today’s Triumph for the Year category. To vote on the award, click here. Voting closes at the end of October.

Mark and his team also have an awareness event scheduled for Oct 30. Click here to learn more about the free event in Plover.

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