Since he was a youngster, Mark Biscone has felt the call to help others and support causes where he can be of greatest service. He credits this attribute to his father, who instilled the great joy of serving those in need.
Ten years ago, after losing a number of family, friends, and acquaintances to cancer, he joined a group of cancer survivors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania West Africa. The purpose of the climb was twofold; to raise funds for cancer research and to raise critical awareness on the devastating effects of cancer.
Almost a decade later Mark heard of a family friend in need of a kidney transplant. True to form, Mark chose to be tested to be a living kidney donor. He was a match! One year ago, on April 14, 2017, Mark donated his kidney to save his friend’s life! Fast forward to today – his friend is running, bicycling and has signed up to do a half Ironman Triathlon in 2018!
Recently, after attending a reunion of his fellow Mount Kilimanjaro climbers, Mark was inspired once again to take up the physical and mental challenges of mountain climbing. This time to raise money for living organ donation awareness and advocacy for living donors. Mark has decided to embark on a rigorous five-year challenge across the globe. This December he will start off in in Ecuador, on South America’s West coast, and will attempt to summit two mountains, Mt. Chimborazo and Mt. Cotapaxi!
Join Mark on this epic quest of inspiration by donating to Mark’s Climb for Life, benefiting The Living Bank, or consider climbing alongside Mark to spread the word that living donation saves lives today.
*Mark Biscone serves as board chair on The Living Bank’s Board of Directors
The inspiration behind Mark’s Climb for Life
Today, there are over 114,000 Americans on waiting lists to receive organs. Someone is added to the list every 10 minutes. Every day 22 people die waiting for a transplant. Individuals on the National Transplant Waiting List must wait up to 10 years to get an organ, typically from deceased donors. Barely 30 percent of potential recipients get the transplant they need in time to save their lives.
But thanks to living organ donation, we can change that. Living organ donation can shrink the gap between the number of organs available and the number of people who need them. Equally important, living organ donation can significantly reduce the wait times from years to months.
Receiving a kidney from a living donor, for example, is the fastest transplant option – which is critical, given that 82 percent of those on the national list are waiting for this organ. (Liver ranks No. 2, at almost 14,000, or 13 percent of the list.) And when a candidate does receive an organ, he or she is taken off the national list, allowing those who remain to move up.
Mark’s Climb for Life
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