Lubbock to Louisiana: Raising awareness for kidney donations on “The Organ Trail”

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 6:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Mark Scotch made the trek from Lubbock to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at a heroic pace.

“I call it traveling at the speed of life,” Scotch said.

Scotch completed the 1,500-mile journey with nothing but a bicycle and a cause to carry him, all while missing an important piece of himself.

Scotch donated a kidney back in 2021. It went to a man named Hugh in Louisiana.

“The only question was, what’s going to happen with one kidney,” Scotch said. “So that’s where the whole thing kind of came together.”

That’s when “The Organ Trail” was created.

Scotch’s life-saving gift marking the “x” on his latest destination, but in this case, like many others, it was all about the journey.

“That’s really what The Organ Trail is and how it started,” Scotch said. “Just trying to get our message out. Just trying to educate people that there’s an urgent, dire need.”

Scotch is trying to encourage others to also become donors to satisfy this need.

According to the National Kidney Registry, 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list every month. In addition, 13 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for a transplant.

“We just feel that there’s plenty of people out there that might be willing to donate if they knew,” Scotch said. “We just feel it’s a solvable problem. "

It was that sentiment that helped lead Mark’s wife Lynn to become a donor as well.

Her donation provided a kidney for a 2-year-old named Cooper in Minnesota.

“I was able to go along with Mark when he did his full day evaluation in July of 2020,” Lynn said. “By the end of that day, I knew that there was no good reason for me not to also pursue whether or not I was medically eligible to donate.”

Her donation has created another opportunity for a ride down “The Organ Trail.”

“It’s going to be probably Central Wisconsin to Chicago to Minneapolis, back to Central Wisconsin,” Scotch said. “Maybe not this summer, but next summer. We’ll bike on over to his family’s house and see if we want to go for a bike ride.”

The ride is meant to encourage others to give part of themselves.

“Trying to demonstrate that a person can donate an organ and possibly save someone’s life, and live a normal life afterwards,” Scotch said, “that’s where the bike ride comes in.”

Mark and Lynn were also featured on the Today Show, which can be watched here.