Kidney donor bikes from Wisconsin to Natchitoches to raise awareness

A kidney donor biked from Wisconsin to Natchitoches to raise awareness.
A kidney donor biked from Wisconsin to Natchitoches to raise awareness.(Source: Leah Lopez)
Published: May. 17, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - Wisconsin kidney-donor Mark Scotch arrived around noon in Natchitoches on Monday following a 1,500-mile bike ride beginning in Madison, Wisconsin to promote kidney health and living donor awareness.

The connection to Natchitoches is that Mark’s donation of a kidney enabled Natchitoches resident Hugh Smith to receive a kidney after having 10-hours of dialysis a day since 2019.

The two men met by coincidence last year at Cane River Brewing in Natchitoches. Their quickly-formed friendship resulted in Mark donating his kidney through a “Voucher Donor” program. His actual kidney went to a person in New York in Hugh’s name, enabling Hugh to be moved up the transplant list - a process that might otherwise have taken years.

As a lifelong biker, Mark decided that a bike marathon from his home in the north, traveling along the Mississippi River to Hugh’s home in the south, would be the ideal way to celebrate the donation that will forever link the two men together. More importantly, it is a way to remind the public that nearly 110,000 persons are currently waiting for life-saving kidney transplants. Each month 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list. Thirteen people die every day because of a shortage of transplants.

The entire story of Mark and Hugh can be found on Facebook on “The Organ Trail

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