Plover man nominated for 2021 Best of Humankind Awards
By Taylor Hale
PORTAGE COUNTY – Plover activist Mark Scotch took to the bike trails of America to help spread awareness for kidney donations. The 65-year old athlete decided that he wanted to be a living donor, and he wanted to showcase that people with just one kidney can still live an active and rich life.
Scotch left on Sept. 19, biking 1,600 miles from Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts back to Plover, with an expected return date set for Oct. 17.
The Portage County native’s efforts to raise awareness for life-saving transplants also caught the attention of USA Today, being named a finalist in their 2021 Best of Humankind Awards.
“I was nominated for a Humankind Award because I donated my kidney to a stranger,” Scotch said. “I was [traveling] and met a gentleman in a bar and found out he needed a kidney and told him I could give him one of mine.”
Within a year of his donation, Scotch took to the trails to help spread awareness for the need for transplant organs.
“When I learned that 13 people die each day in this country because of a lack of kidneys it just prompted me to want to do that. I also wanted to demonstrate that someone could donate a kidney and go back to their former lifestyle. If I won this award, it would create a lot of exposure to promote my message even further,” Scotch closed.
On top of bringing additional awareness to his cause, the award would also net Scotch $1,000, which he plans to donate to the Restoring Hope Transplant House in Middleton, a non-profit group centered on supporting transplant families and those in need of a transplantation.
To vote, visit HumankindAwards.com, and select the Humankind Triumph of the Year section, and vote for Scotch. Scotch is up against Yuri Williams, founder of A Future Superhero and Friends, an organization focused on aiding the elderly, children, veterans, and those without homes.
To learn more about Scotch and his efforts, visit theorgantrailhm.wordpress.com.