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Heart Recipient Kelly Perkins Scales Half Dome to Support 'Exercise Your Heart. Share The Beat'
Date:6/23/2008

Event to celebrate the hope in transplantation and raise awareness of the

need for organ and tissue donations

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. S
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SOURCE James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness
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