Memphis high school senior hikes for a cause, raises $15K for St. Jude patients

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 4:57 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 12:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis high school student is back home this week, resting after spending the weekend hiking more than 29,000 feet for a good cause.

The hike will benefit families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

High school senior, Eddie Perez, spent most of his training days at his school, Christian Brothers High School.

Eddie plays Lacrosse and got most of his training for the hike during lacrosse practice.

He says he got the idea to do an Everest hike from a YouTube video.

He took the idea to his parents, and they initially laughed but later got on board.

He said if he was going to hike, he was going to hike for a cause and that’s what he did.

Eddie has a special connection to St. Jude, so raising money for the research hospital through another organization was a given.

“Operation Red Shoes helps kids and families from St. Jude,” said Eddie. “So, while St. Jude will always pay for treatment, things like gas and food and rent aren’t always covered. So, Operation Red Shoes goes and helps people who aren’t necessarily from Memphis t be able to cover all the extra necessities.”

The hike is called 29029, taking place on a mountain in Utah last weekend.

There were 273 hikers in Utah all hiking the same mountain, 13 times, making the trek equivalent to hiking Mt. Everest.

Eddie was just one of a handful of hikers to raise money on his journey.

We visited Eddie at his high school Monday. It was his first day back since taking the hike.

His teachers, classmates, coaches and teammates were all congratulating him and calling him an inspiration.

He took about a week off for the hike but is now back to his studies.

Now $15,000 will go to support families at St. Jude.

“Operation Red Shoes, from the beginning, has always been a part of my life. So, when it was time to dedicate the funds, it wasn’t a question as to where they were going to go,” said Eddie.

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