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The Organ Trail brings kidney donation awareness to Waco

"I know how much passion he has for life and how many things he wants to do that he just can't right now." Two best friends embark on one kidney donation journey.

WACO, Texas — After donating a kidney of his own in 2020, Mark Scotch cycles his way around the United States to promote kidney health and living donor awareness throughout the country, on what he calls The Organ Trail.

1500 miles on The Organ Trail, that's how far Scotch rides to raise awareness for kidney donations.

"Well as part of my ride from Lubbock to Baton Rouge, and what I try to do is meet local people," said Scotch.

On March 9, Scotch officially started his fifth Organ Trail ride. During his stop in Waco, he met Matt Shane and Todd Monsen, two best friends who are about to start their own donation journey.

"I've known about my disease since I was five, but I've never let it stop me," Matt Shane said.

Diagnosed with Stage 3 kidney failure in 2014, Shane has suffered a failed transplant and is now on daily dialysis as he continues to fight for his life.

"I've seen him when he's been relatively healthy and I've seen him now when he's struggling more," said Monsen, who plans to donate his own kidney to his friend.

Monsen, Shane's friend and fellow colleague, watched him go from a skilled athlete to struggling and in need of a healthy kidney.

"I know how much passion he has for life and how many things he wants to do that he just can't right now," Monsen said. "If I have a chance to help him with that and do something that can help him live the life he wants and the life his family wants."

After blood work and tests, Shane and Monsen's kidneys were a match made in Waco.

"It's a gift that I can't give back," Shane said. "My first transplant was my nephew and that's family, and I understand that, but to have a friend offer this to me to save my life, there's no words to describe the feeling that I have of gratitude."

It's the kind of gratitude that only grows, especially since Shane's daughter has the same gene for the disease.

"The disease that I have is a family disease so there's going to be other people in my family who will need a kidney," Shane said. "So, to get more people involved it will just help them as well."

While Mark Scotch rides around the country to spread the word, Shane and Monsen will do the same, but in Waco. 

They are all working to get people to "share their spare".

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