We were contacted by the NBC Today Show when we arrived into Dallas, Texas a week or so into the ride. By the time we (I) biked to Morgan City, LA, a few days before we were to arrive into New Orleans, a producer from NYC and a crew of two from NOLA came to meet us at a city park and they spent 4 hours capturing footage for a video that would be part of our in person interview the morning of Wednesday, April 26th, 8:00 local time.
The Today Show had selected us to highlight organ donation for National Donate Life Month.
This will give us the opportunity to share our story and help to educate literally a million people or more about the urgent and dire need for living kidney donation. 13 people die every day in the USA waiting for a kidney transplant. Lynn and I have felt from early on that this is a solvable problem. We feel that if enough people knew that there is a need, many will step forward.
All we need is 1, a measly ONE sports stadium filled every year with living donors. How many are filled every year across our country multiple times in our 50 States between professional baseball and football, and college sports, solely for our entertainment?
We only need 1 of them filled once every year to save 13 people every day….forever.
So many things big and small made this all possible.
Literally 100’s of people working with us over the past 2 years and 6,400 bicycle miles.
We partnered with between 50 and 75, transplant hospitals, dialysis centers, clinics, and the like to have media events to create awareness.
Dozens of organizations big and small that helped us with media, lodging, meals, logistics, and so much more too numerous to mention.
1,000’s of LIKES and SHARES on Facebook and Instagram from all of you.
This stretched from International Falls, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana and from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to San Diego, California.
Two people have been there from the start, Lynn, of course and my buddy from before 1st grade, Mark Bruner. Without them, The Organ Trail would not have happened, but so many have helped behind the scenes including my sisters Geeg and Pamm, Bill Barthen, and an amazing Jennie Hinz to name just a few.
Everyone that rode with me, again the list would be sooo long, but I’ll mention Dave Pramann (who connected us with Lynn’s Cooper), Steve Wilson, Greg Haack, my brother Gary, son Nick, grandson Jason, Jeff Lange and the one guy that rode part of every ride, Tim Mullen.
If Debb Solomon and Joe Bauer hadn’t stepped up on TOT 1.0 when COVID hit The Organ Trail may never have gotten off the ground.
Ned Brooks Founder of NKDO.org from the start and later NKR.org have been the rocks we’ve anchored to.
To everyone I didn’t mention know that I’m thinking about you right now and you come up in conversation between Lynn and I often as we reminisce about our rides. We think about your kindness and generosity often and are so grateful our paths crossed.
Tomorrow will be satisfying in that we feel validation that our message has value and we’ve done a good job as a Team (by Team I mean EVERYONE we worked with including social media Friends) getting it out there. We do hope this “event” helps many more people start to enjoy a normal life and in so many cases, actually save their lives.
I wish I had a group photo of us all to share and you all (ok, all y’all 😆) knew each other as Lynn and I have gotten to know you. I’ll just have to settle for this, the 1st Organ Trail photo taken late summer of 2020 by Lynn on the banks of the Wisconsin River just north of downtown Stevens Point, Wisconsin.