Woman defies the odds, nears goal of kayaking the entire Mississippi River at record pace
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WVLA) – Known as the âMississippi Mermaid,â Traci Lynn Martin is a nurse on a mission as she kayaked the Mississippi River in hopes of becoming a Guinness World Record holder.
âI’m trying to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi Riverâ¦ and I’m trying to set a speed record. I need to break 61 days and I’m on the pace to break that, âsaid Martin.
On Tuesday, she crossed downtown Baton Rouge on the river. Water is not the only obstacle it faces.
âI was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010 and was diagnosed with scleroderma this year. These are two autoimmune diseases, âsaid Martin.
Both diseases cause chronic pain throughout her body.
âThe days that I’m in pain are really bad, I just tell myself I have one more day left and go out and do the best job I can do today,â Martin said.
Despite the pain, Martin fights as she tells her patients.
âSo when I have a patient coming to the hospital. I say you have to get up, you have to move. Usually the first thing they would say is âyou don’t understand how badly I am in painâ and I can say that I understand that I have rheumatoid arthritis, âshe explained.
What keeps her going? These are his supporters from across the United States.
Partner and Ground Contact Marv Kusiel said: âSeveral times in every post we see people say you inspire me. So it’s not just her, but a whole bunch of people taking this trip.
âMy message is that you don’t have to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River, but don’t give in and give up on the things you love to do because you only have one life,â he said. said Martin.
Martin paddled over two thousand miles. If you want to follow his path, you can visit his Facebook group.
Martin is also looking for someone in a boat who can meet her at the end of the finish line in the Gulf of Mexico at terminal 0 of the river.