Woman defies the odds, nears goal of kayaking the entire Mississippi River at record pace
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WVLA) – Known as the “Mississippi Mermaid,” Traci Lynn Martin is a nurse on a mission as she kayaked the Mississippi River in hopes of becoming a Guinness World Record holder.
“I’m trying to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River… and I’m trying to set a speed record. I need to break 61 days and I’m on the pace to break that, ”said Martin.
On Tuesday, she crossed downtown Baton Rouge on the river. Water is not the only obstacle it faces.
“I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010 and was diagnosed with scleroderma this year. These are two autoimmune diseases, ”said Martin.
Both diseases cause chronic pain throughout her body.
“The 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,” Martin said.
Despite the pain, Martin fights as she tells her patients.
“So 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 “you don’t understand how badly I am in pain” and I can say that I understand that I have rheumatoid arthritis, ”she explained.
What keeps her going? These are his supporters from across the United States.
Partner and Ground Contact Marv Kusiel said: “Several 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.
“My 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,” 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.