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

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Team Dean (Karnazes) of San Francisco, 415.517.2846
Mary Thang of San Jose, Katalina's mom, 408.396.5741
Jeff Shapiro MD, The Relay/Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"), 650.508.9700
Gilda Vallente of Daly City, waits for kidney, 650.754.0459

"TEAM DEAN" KARNAZES GETS SET FOR 350-MILE SOLO RUN TO SAVE BABY KATALINA
During a world record run in The Relay, Dean will help find a heart lung donor.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA October 13, 2005 - During The Relay, more than 3,500 runners will start from the Calistoga Mineral Water Company on October 15 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").

Katalina waits for a tiny donor. Although you would never know it from her smile, two-year-old Katalina (born January 5, 2004) has an unhappy heart. By six months, she had endured three heart surgeries. In September 2004, doctors said Katalina would not survive six months without a transplant. Although her condition has deteriorated in 2005, Katalina has outlived all forecasts.

In the long run, one man can be a team. For more than 250 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 350-mile solo run in 80 plus hours.

Dean started at 2 pm on October 12 from his home in San Francisco. After running 75 miles north, he delivered a bouquet of flowers to the Nicholas Green Memorial Bell Tower in Bodega Bay, dedicated to the seven-year-old boy who was killed in Italy and donated organs to seven Italians. After another 76 miles to the start of The Relay in Calistoga, Dean will run the 199-mile Relay course crossing the finish on the beach in Santa Cruz on Sunday afternoon. During Dean's 350-mile adventure, he will run for three nights, burn 50,000 calories and consume 10 gallons of fluid.

Dean has run 2,000 miles for organ donation during The Relay, the largest event in the world promoting the need for donors. This Ultramarathon man has won the Ultra division ten times, including eight solo 199-mile plus runs. Dean dedicated his 2000 and 2001 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 prepared to donate part of his liver to his dying son. Six days after Dean's run, David received a liver from a three-year-old boy. In 2003, Dean dedicated the first continuous 226-mile run to one-month-old Valeria Sanchez who waited on life support for a heart donor. Three weeks after Dean's run, Valeria received a heart from a three-day-old infant.

Dean's 2004 262-mile (equal to ten marathons) solo run was dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the death of Nicholas Green who donated organs to seven Italians including Maria Pia Pedala. Maria Pia signaled the start of Dean's run in Bodega Bay with a bell she brought from Italy. After traveling 262 miles with Dean, the bell was hung on the Nicholas Green Memorial Bell Tower.

Dean set world records during the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Relays, running 199 miles in 46 hours, 17 minutes, 226 miles in 57 hours, 53 minutes and 262 miles in 75 hours, 59 minutes. Dean, a nationally recognized ultra-endurance athlete, completed a marathon to the South Pole in 2001 and won the 135-mile race across Death Valley in July 2004. Dean appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman (March 16, 2005) and 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl (March 28, 2005). Dean is president of EnergyWell Natural Foods in San Francisco and a motivational speaker. His book, "Ultramarathon Man" hit the best seller list in June 2005. Dean is available for interviews during his 350-mile run at 415.517.2846.

Organs 'R' Us promotes donation through athletics. During The Relay, 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 89,000 Americans waiting for organs by generating $25 million in publicity promoting the need for donors. Through walking and running, this group showcases their fitness proving that transplantation saves lives.

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