PRESS RELEASEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Team Dean (Karnazes) of San Francisco, 415.776.0144
Theresa Sanchez, Valeria's mom, 530.590.0002 (pager)
Jeff Shapiro MD, The Relay/Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"), 650.508.9700
Gilda Vallente of Daly City, waits for kidney, 650.754.0459
WHAT HAS 36 LEGS, 24 FEET AND RUNS ALL NIGHT?
SAN FRANCISCO, CA October 6, 2003 - During The Relay, more than 3,500 runners will start from the Calistoga Mineral Water Company on October 11 as "California's Longest Party" gets underway. Stretching from the scenic Napa Valley Wine Country to the Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, this event combines technology and running to promote the critical need for donated organs through Organs 'R' Us ("ORU").
While on life-support, one-month-old Valeria waits for a donor. When she was five-days-old, Valeria experienced difficulty breathing. She has been on a breathing machine for three weeks and waits in the intensive care unit at Stanford University for a heart transplant.
As a team of one, Dean will dedicate his run to finding a donor for Valeria. While runners on teams of 12, run 36 legs averaging 5 miles in length, " California's Longest Party" will be no party for "Team Dean" as he attempts to be the first to run a single 300-mile leg in 72 hours. Dean will run nonstop for three nights, burn 50,000 calories and consume 10 gallons of fluid. When passing through Palo Alto, Dean will detour to Packard Children's hospital to see Valeria.
Dean has run more than 1,400 miles for organ donation during The Relay, the largest event in the world promoting the need for donors. Dean has won the Ultra division eight times, including five solo 200-mile runs. Dean dedicated his 2000 and 2001 solo runs to Elizabeth Wood (age one), who waited for a liver. As Dean began his 2002 solo run dedicated to David Mehran (age eight months), David's father, Ardeshir, prepared to donate part of his liver to his dying son. Liver recipients David (age 1) and Elizabeth (age 4), representing more than 2,500 children in need of organs, will cheer Dean at the finish in Santa Cruz.
Dean will begin at the south gate of the Golden Gate Bridge at 2 pm on Thursday, October 9, 2003 and run The Relay course in reverse through Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. Captain Jack Burns and members of the four time divisional winners, Menage A Douze, will accompany Dean through Marin. After covering 100 miles, Dean will cross the start line in Calistoga and hope to arrive in Santa Cruz on Sunday afternoon.
Dean set the world record during the 2002 Relay, running 199 miles in 46 hours, 17 minutes. Dean, a nationally recognized endurance athlete, has completed a marathon to the South Pole in 2001 and a 135-mile race across Death Valley in July 2003. Dean is a business owner in San Francisco and frequent motivational speaker, speaking next at Sports Basement in San Francisco on October 16. His book, " Confessions of an All-Night Runner" will be released in 2004. Dean is available for interviews during his 300-mile run at 415.517.2846.
The 2003 Relay is Dedicated to Gilda Vallente, 35, of Daly City who waits for a kidney. Through Organs 'R' Us, the transfer of the baton from runner to runner symbolizes the transfer of an organ from donor to recipient. ORU was founded in San Francisco in 1996 and supports transplant recipients, candidates, family members, friends and donor families by promoting organ donation through athletics. Through walking and running, this group showcases their fitness proving that transplantation saves lives.
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