(CBS) — A 62-year-old Carpentersville man who had a heart transplant at Loyola two years ago is now going to try something he believes no other heart transplant recipient has ever done.

Bill Spence has had multiple heart attacks, three pacemakers and has had so many stents put in, he’s lost count.

Finally, two years ago, he got a new heart.

“Basically I’ve tried to die five times and I keep getting thrown back into the pond and I believe it’s for a reason and I think this is my reason,” Spence said.

In two weeks, Spence will start hiking the Appalachian Trail.

“When the movie ‘Walk in the Woods’ with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford came out, there was a movie trailer on TV and my wife and I were sitting there and I looked at her and I said, ‘Why do you think if I did something like that?'” he said.

Spence says his plan is to hike the more than 2,100 miles to honor the donor who added years to his life.

“They say roughly 20 percent of the people who attempt the thru-hike make it,” he said. “I hope I’m part of that 20 percent.”

For more information on his hike, visit at-tinman.com.

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