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Kidney donor cycles to raise awareness

Living kidney donor Mark Scotch cycling through Illinois.
Living kidney donor Mark Scotch cycling through Illinois.(KFVSEdit6 | Jeremy)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:30 AM CDT
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published May 3, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT - Updated May 4 at 1:13 AM on kfvs12.com)

MCCLURE, Ill. (Great Health Divide) - A kidney donor is on a 1,500-mile bicycle ride from Wisconsin to Louisiana to showcase Living Kidney Donation Awareness.

“I knew you could live on a kidney,” said Mark Scotch. “I never, ever thought about being a donor.”

Living kidney donor Mark Scotch said his mission started more than a year ago when he met a guy at a bar who needed a kidney.

“So, I just said heck, I think I can give you one of mine,” he said.

But it wasn’t that easy.

Both Scotch and his new friend both registered with the National Kidney Registry.

“So, my kidney went to New York, and he got a kidney from California, but we were connected because I named him my voucher recipient,” Scotch said.

After his surgery, he decided to ride more that 1,500 miles to Louisiana to check on his new friend.

“I’m trying to prove that you can go back to your former lifestyle on one kidney,” he said.

After cycling throughout the day, Scotch decided to make a pitstop at Willa’s Getaway and Bar in McClure, Ill. where he was able to get some snacks, water and refuel before heading off to Cairo.

“You know, I haven’t noticed any difference in my life really,” Scotch said. “I try to just drink more water, because that’s what they tell us to do.”

He also tries to educate the public on kidney donation awareness.

“It’s something that most of us can do,” Scotch said. “We all can’t be living donors, but we can all be deceased donors. And we can all learn as much as we can to try to, try to educate other people.”

Scotch plans to arrive at his final destination in Louisiana around May 16.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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