Rocky Mountaineer Invites Organ Donors, Recipients and Their Families Aboard the Annual "Life Changing Train for Heroes"

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Event Aims to Save 40,000 Lives Through Online Organ Donor Registrations.

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We are humbled and excited to welcome the heroes and their families for our second annual Life Changing Train for Heroes program,” say Randy Powell, President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer.

In the U.S., an average of 18 people die a day waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Although a single donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of more than 50, less than half of Americans are enrolled as organ donors and the list of people waiting for an organ has grown to more than 120,000 as of Sept. 2014. In a recent survey commissioned by Rocky Mountaineer, 60% of Americans noted concerns with donating an organ, including fear of donating, uncertainty about health requirements for donors or religious beliefs.

To raise national awareness for the cause and increase donor registration, Rocky Mountaineer, a North American rail tour company, is honoring 40 individuals and families from around the world that have been impacted by organ donation. These individuals will embark on an inspiring rail journey to the majestic Rocky Mountains. A goal has been set to secure 1,000 registered organ donors by week’s end.

Rocky Mountaineer’s annual Life Changing Train for Heroes program honors everyday heroes who have made significant efforts for the good of others, recognizes the families that have supported them and raises awareness for the organizations that provide them with assistance. Along the journey, the families will enjoy some well-deserved time to relax and reconnect with each other. The train will depart from the Rocky Mountaineer Station on Sept. 16, stopover in Kamloops, B.C. and arrive at Lake Louise, Alberta on Sept. 17.

“We are humbled and excited to welcome the heroes and their families for our second annual Life Changing Train for Heroes program,” say Randy Powell, President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer. “As the heroes give selflessly to positively impact the lives of others, we hope to provide them with a life changing experience of their own and raise awareness for the important cause.”

This year’s program will host a total of 13 organ donors/recipients and their families onboard the train for the special journey. Joining the trip is U.S. professional snowboarder and Olympic-medalist, Chris Klug. The Colorado native received a life-saving liver transplant in 2000 and went on to win a bronze medal in the Olympic Winter Games, just two years later. Chris attributes his triumphant journey from the hospital bed to the Olympic Podium and his new-found perspective on life made possible by organ donation.

“I’m proud to work with Rocky Mountaineer to bring awareness of the urgent need for people to register to be organ donors,” says Chris Klug, professional snowboarder, Olympic-medalist and founder of the Chris Klug Foundation. “We can all be heroes with an easy click of a button.”

Also joining the group are Wisconsin natives, Brett and Jackson Beattie and their family. Two years ago, 20-year-old Brett donated his left kidney to save the life of his young 20-month-old cousin, Jackson. However, like many others with Chronic Kidney Disease, Jackson may need another kidney transplant in the near future.

According to recent studies by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and a survey commissioned by Rocky Mountaineer:

  •     18 people die every day waiting for a transplant.
  •     Every 10 minutes another person is added to the national wait-list. Currently there are more than 123,000 Americans waiting for an organ.
  •     One donor can impact up to 50 lives by being an organ & tissue donor.
  •     82% of Americans agree they would be more likely to donate organs if they knew who they would go to.

For more information on Rocky Mountaineer’s Life Changing Train for Heroes or to get involved and register as an organ donor, please visit rockymountaineer.com/heroes. To learn more about our heroes and follow them on their life changing journey, follow us on Twitter at @rmountaineer and use #HeroesTrain.

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About Rocky Mountaineer:
2015 marks the 25th Anniversary for Rocky Mountaineer and the company has a lot to celebrate. Since its inception in 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has grown to be the largest privately owned luxury tourist train in the world and is considered by many as the only way to see the Canadian Rockies. In the past 25 years, the train has welcomed onboard nearly two million guests from around the globe. With over 45 vacation packages, five unique rail routes, and iconic destinations such as Seattle, WA, Vancouver and Whistler, BC, and the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta, there is a journey for anyone looking for a life changing experience. The world renowned train travels by daylight through the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada while guests relish in the breathtaking views of tumbling waterfalls, glacier-capped mountains, and wildlife of the regions. Rocky Mountaineer has received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence, including eight World Travel Awards for both “World’s Leading Travel Experience By Train” and “World’s Leading Luxury Train.” In 2013, it was also recognized as one of the world’s “Dream Trips” by the prestigious Travel +Leisure magazine.

About the Chris Klug Foundation:

Founded in 2003 by liver transplant recipient and Olympic Medalist snowboarder Chris Klug, the Chris Klug Foundation is an organization dedicated to promoting life-saving organ and tissue donation and also striving to improve the quality of life for those touched by donation. Learn more about the foundation at http://www.chrisklugfoundation.org/

Survey Methodology

The Rocky Mountaineer Organ Donation Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (among 1,011 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18+.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Jennifer Nguyen
Citizen Relations
jennifer.nguyen(at)citizenrelations(dot)com
949-809-6748

Shannon Kidd
Rocky Mountaineer
skidd(at)rockymountaineer(dot)com
604-606-8421

Beth Slater
Chris Klug Foundation
beth(at)chrisklugfoundation(dot)com
970-618-7120

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Jennifer Nguyen
Citizen Relations
+1 (949) 809-6748
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Shannon Kidd
Rocky Mountaineer
604-606-8421
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