Eddie Perez Jr. 29029: Climbing for a CauseOperation Red Shoes
By Lesley Harris Colvett
Photos Courtesy of Eddie Perez
On August 19 when kids were going back to school, Eddie Perez, Jr., a senior at Christian Brothers High School, was not in class. Instead, he was hiking a ski slope in Snowbasin, Utah, to raise thousands of dollars for Operation Red Shoes.
Eddie was on a simple, but lofty mission: To participate in the 29029 Everesting Challenge and raise $10,000 for Operation Red Shoes, a non-profit founded in 2015 to assist and financially support the patients being treated for cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their families.
The 29029 Everesting Challenge is an event where participants have up to 36 hours to climb up a ski slope at Snowbasin, Utah, 13 times over. The 13 climbs add to 29,029 feet of total elevation climbed, which is the height of Mount Everest. Eddie hiked the 30 miles to climb the 29,029 elevation, and he completed in just under 30 hours!
Eddie trained during the months leading up to the climb, and he shaved his head as a symbol of his support of these kids who are fighting cancer. “My hair has always been such a part of my identity, and to get rid of it was like me really stepping in to these patients’ challenges, taking on some of their challenges as my own,” Eddie says.
Eddie reached his original goal of $10,000 even before he did the climb, and he has raised over $16,000 and donations are still coming in!
Eddie loves adventure and to push himself, and this 29,029 foot climb challenged him physically, emotionally, and mentally. But he was doing it for a bigger purpose. “It was a blessing to be able to offer up my pain and endure and suffer for children and families who don’t get the option. They are climbing up their ‘Everest’ every single day.”
The support Eddie received from his school and the community has been astounding. CBHS fully supported Eddie emotionally and financially. “CBHS gave me excused absences for this, and it feels incredible that teachers, board members, faculty and staff have donated to the cause. I really felt the brotherhood at CBHS. They facilitated my dream and supported these real-life experiences,” Eddie says. Eddie believes the real MVPs during his challenge were his family, who kept him energized during the rough overnight hours of the climb. “They stayed up the whole time, they gave me words of support, dancing at 3 a.m. - anything to put a smile on my face. They were so selfless,” Eddie says.
Eddie is still raising money for this worthy cause. You can donate by visiting his website, eddieperez29029.com, or by scanning the QR code below:
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