Make a Difference: Organ Track Bikes in Vicksburg
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) – What do 1,500 miles, two men and a chance encounter have in common? Make the difference.
Mark Scotch had traveled to Natchitoches, Louisiana in early 2020. He was planting a hop beer in a brewery and, at the end of the sales meeting, he struck up a conversation with Hugh Smith, who was not seated. only a few bar stools. down Scotch.
The two had never met, but Scotch was immediately drawn to Smith.
“She was such an outgoing, positive and happy person. He was just one of those really lovely people, ”Scotch said.
The conversation went on for a long time. That was until Smith said he had to go.
Scotch was enjoying his company and tried to encourage him to visit a little longer, but he couldn’t.
Smith had to leave for dialysis.
This stirred something in Scotch, and before Smith left the bar, Scotch told him that if he needed a kidney he would give him one.
“I made my decision immediately,” Scotch said. “I didn’t even think about it.
Scotch knew that donating a kidney was something that could be done. His sister-in-law had donated one of his kidneys years earlier, he said.
On September 30, Scotch underwent surgery and became a living kidney donor.
Scotch’s kidney, however, did not go to Smith. They did not match, but thanks to the “good donor” program offered by the National Kidney Registry, a match was found for Scotch’s kidney and Smith, too, found a compatible kidney.
It was through this experience that Scotch decided to share his story and that of Smith and embarked on The Organ Trail: A Kidney Donation Journey.
The trip involves Scotch cycling from Madison, Wisconsin to Natchitoches, Louisiana with the aim of raising awareness among people that 13 people die every day in the United States while waiting for a kidney and that if 10 in 10,000 people would become living donors, no one would ever have to wait for a kidney. He also wanted to cycle 1,500 km to prove that you can still be active if you choose to be a living donor.
“I want people to be curious (about becoming a living donor). Check it out and learn about the National Kidney Registry. Just do that, ”he says. “I ask people to try to become as knowledgeable as possible and in doing so everyone will know a little more and tell someone a little more.
Scotch began his trip on April 24 and traveled to Vicksburg on Tuesday. During his stop here, he said he camped at Rivertown Rose Campground, ate at Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, and enjoyed touring River City by bike.
Scotch’s wife, Lynn, accompanies her husband on the organ trail by car.
For more information on Scotch’s trip, visit The Organ Trail’s Facebook page. For more information on living kidney donation, visit
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