Kidney recipient travels 5,000 miles to raise donor awareness
A kidney donor-recipient is traveling across the country to raise awareness about organ donation. He is riding his scooter from Florida to California which is expected to take six months.
Matt Schneider, the creator of "Scooting 4 Donors", spent his whole life in and out of the hospital.
“I was born with kidney disease,” said Schneider. “My kidney function was about 10% until I was about 10 years old, and then I had to start dialysis.”
He got his first transplant from his mother, his second from his father, and his third from his brother. His last transplant was three years ago from who he calls an angel donor.
Schneider knows firsthand what others on the waiting list are going through.
“The hardest part of the kidney transplant process is actually waiting for an organ. That's why I want to help the 114,000 people waiting,” said Schneider.
Schneider says his fourth kidney is a perfect match, and doctors say it could last for 20 years.
Now, he wants to live out his childhood dream. Schneider was inspired by a movie called the "Terry Fox Story". It's about a guy who lost his leg to cancer. He wanted to run across Canada on one leg, and a prosthetic.
Now, he's riding his electric scooter across America.
He started in Miami, where he got his first transplant and made his way to Atlanta. “Then, I moved to an Atlanta when I was in eighth grade,” said Schneider. “So I did have stage one from Miami to Atlanta because I have my last three transplants in Atlanta.”
Schneider travels about 45 miles a day on the scooter which amounts to about five hours.
He's making his way through the Tennessee Valley and plans to go to Dallas where he was born. Then he'll end up in San Francisco. The trip totals 5,000 miles, and he expects to be done in October.
The goal is to sign up as many people as he can to become a donor.
“The further I go along, the further I get it,” said Schneider. “So I'm just hoping to reach as many people as possible to register. I've already had 11 people register on my website.”
Next, Schneider will travel about 6 and a half-hours to McMinnville.