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David Mehran Liver Recipient
Team Dean at the finish with Elizabeth
Gilda waits for a kidney



Team Dean (Karnazes) of San Francisco, 415.517.2846
Jeff Shapiro MD, The Relay/Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"), 650.508.9700
Gilda Vallente of Daly City, waits for kidney, 650.754.0459

To Commemorate The Tenth Anniversary Of The Death Of Sonoma County Boy And Tenth Anniversary of The Saturn Relay.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA October 19, 2004 - During The Relay, more than 3,500 runners will start from the Calistoga Mineral Water Company on October 23 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").

We remember Nicholas Green on the tenth anniversary of his death. While on vacation in Italy, seven-year-old Nicholas was shot during a robbery and donated his organs to seven Italians including Maria Pia Pedala. Representing a grateful Italy, Maria Pia will travel from Italy to The Relay with a bell inscribed with the emblem of her home town. With this bell, Maria Pia will signal the start of Dean's run at the Children's Bell Tower in Bodega Bay.

In the long run, one man can be a team. For almost 300 entries, the 199-mile Relay is a shared experience with 12-member teams running 36 legs through 36 cities and across the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight. For Team Dean, California's Longest Party will be no party as he attempts the first 262-mile run without rest. In 2003, Dean dedicated the first continuous 226-mile run to one-month-old Valeria Sanchez who waited on life support at Packard Hospital for a heart donor. Three weeks after Dean's run, Valeria received a heart from a three-day-old infant.

Dean will start at the Children's Bell Tower on Highway 1, 1.5 miles North of Bodega Bay on Thursday, October 21 at 10 am. After Dean carries Maria Pia's bell 63 miles to Calistoga, the Organs 'R' Us team will carry the bell 199 miles to the finish. Dean will continue nonstop for three nights, burn 50,000 calories, consume 10 gallons of fluid and arrive at the finish in Santa Cruz around noon on Sunday.

Dean has run more than 1,400 miles for organ donation during The Relay, the largest event in the world promoting the need for organ donors. This Ultramarathon man has won the Ultra division nine times, including six solo 199-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. Heart recipient, Valeria Sanchez (age 1), and liver recipients David (age 2) and Elizabeth (age 5), representing more than 2,500 children in need of organs, will cheer for Dean at the finish in Santa Cruz.

Dean set world records during the 2002 and 2003 Relays, running 199 miles in 46 hours, 17 minutes and 226 miles in 57 hours and 53 minutes. Dean, a nationally recognized ultra-endurance athlete, has completed a marathon to the South Pole in 2001 and won the 135-mile race across Death Valley in July 2004. Dean is president of EnergyWell Natural Foods in San Francisco and frequent motivational speaker. His book, "Ultramarathon Man" will be released in 2005. Dean is available for interviews during his 262-mile run at 415.517.2846.

The 2004 Relay is also dedicated to Gilda Vallente, 36, 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, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, 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.

Visit Registered Teams to find participating teams. Visit Maps to view the course.