CLEVELAND — Mark Scotch has been on the road for two weeks, traveling from Rhode Island to Wisconsin not by car, but by bike.

The Organ Trail” is what Scotch calls it, a journey to raise awareness of kidney disease and the need for kidney donors.

What You Need To Know

  • A Wisconsin man is biking across the country for kidney donation awareness. He made one of his 30 stops in Cleveland

  • Mark Scotch became a donor in September of 2020 and wants to continue to support those in need of a life-saving transplant

  • There are 95,000 people in the U.S. who need a kidney transplant, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network

  • There are over 2,200 candidates in Ohio on the donor registry for a kidney transplant

Scotch is a kidney donor. It’s a gift that he gave to help someone he hardly knew.

“He told me he was in stage four renal failure and he was looking for a kidney and in that instant, I made a decision that I was going to offer my kidney,” Scotch said. 

Scotch became a donor on Sept. 30 of 2020 and decided he wanted to continue to support those in need of a life-saving transplant.

“ I just knew that I could do more than just give a kidney. Giving a kidney was (the) easy part, that's really simple,” he said. 

There are 95,000 people in the U.S. in need of a kidney transplant and 12 people per day die waiting for an organ, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

“When I started to look into donation, I realized that so many people were dying every day because (of) the lack of kidneys. So the ride is primarily a way to show that you can donate a kidney, save somebody's life and go back to your normal life, whatever that was,” Scotch said. 

This is Scotch’s second Organ Trail ride.

During this journey, he is connecting with others who have donated kidneys, like Nathan Eastlake who donated his kidney to his daughter, Ava.

Scotch is also using the trail to help amplify the story and experiences of those waiting for a kidney. 

Nigel Green read about Scotch’s journey on an online dialysis discussion group.

Green and his mom, Laverne, were happy to make the trip to Cleveland from Indianapolis. 

“To see Mark biking and to see people actually live a happy life, an active life after having a kidney transplant, it inspires me to want to keep trying to keep believing that there is hope,” Green said. 

Scotch said even if he only helps one person get a kidney or sign up to become a donor, this 1,600-mile trip will be worth it. 

“I think there's a connection that has to be made between those people that are looking and somebody whose timing is ready to donate and I want to try to make that happen,” Scotch said.