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Heart Recipient Kelly Perkins Scales Half Dome to Support ‘Exercise Your Heart. Share The Beat’

June 24, 2008

LOS ANGELES, June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness (JRI) and world-renowned mountain climber and heart transplant recipient, Kelly Perkins, are teaming up on June 28th to encourage organ donation at “Exercise Your Heart. Share the Beat” where Perkins and her husband Craig will scale Half Dome in Yosemite.

Kelly and her husband Craig have climbed Mount Fuji, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Matterhorn, Mount Whitney, and peaks in the Mount Aspiring National Park in New Zealand, among others to make a positive impact on organ, blood, and tissue donation and participation. Kelly is the first ever heart transplant recipient to reach the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the world’s seven summits.

Half Dome represents a triumphant return for Kelly. It was the first peak she “climbed” with her donor heart nearly 12 years ago. This time, though, rather than hiking the trail from Half Dome’s back side Kelly will face the challenge of the mountain’s difficult shear face head on. On this climb, Kelly will be joined by her “team” — husband and climbing partner Craig, Filmmaker Michael Brown, and Yosemite Mountain guide Scott Stowe.

While Kelly is “exercising her heart” on the climb, a support group will be hiking the trail. All will meet at the summit to “share the beat” — wearing red commemorative t-shirts and standing in formation to compose a heart. The symbolic image will then be photographed from a nearby vantage point to capture the heart and raise awareness for support and participation in the recycling of organs, blood, and tissue.

Per James Redford, founder and president of The James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, “Kelly’s The Climb of My Life book and the scaling of Half Dome demonstrate her ability to prevail in the face of adversity. She has chosen to dedicate her life to help and inspire others awaiting life- saving transplants and we’re very happy to be part of her efforts.”

JRI Executive Director, Annie Aft, “I created the Share the Beat events to celebrate the hope in transplantation through inspiration, awareness and storytelling. Kelly embodies this celebration by embracing life with such strength and grace. We are always excited to share in the joy of her miraculous transplant especially when it helps give hope to others who are waiting. “

James Redford waited six months for the donor liver that saved his life. After his surgery, he launched the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the need for organ and tissue donation. JRI’s goal is to raise awareness of this issue through film, educational outreach, and on the web.

For more information on Kelly Perkins, visit http://www.theclimbofmylife.com/

For more information on JRI visit: http://www.sharethebeat.org/ and http://www.jrifilms.org/

   CONTACT:   Kelly Perkins   Phone: (949) 481-7825   kelly@theclimbofmylife.com  

James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness

CONTACT: Kelly Perkins, +1-949-481-7825, kelly@theclimbofmylife.com

Web site: http://www.jrifilms.org/http://www.theclimbofmylife.com/http://www.sharethebeat.org/




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