Despite arthritis, woman attempts to kayak the Great Lakes


(WIVB)– Never stop living your life, never stop doing the things that you truly love.

It’s a simple message to live by for Traci Lynn Martin. How she’s choosing to share that message is anything but simple. Martin is attempting to kayak the 4200 miles of the Great Lakes.

She says she wants to show other people with chronic pain conditions that they can still live their lives.

“If I can come out with rheumatoid arthritis and paddle all five of the Great Lakes, which has never been done before. Then I wanted to lead by example and show others that they can get up and still do the things that they love whether it’s cooking or just out gardening,” Martin said.

This will be Martin’s second attempt. She tried back in 2017 but got iced out near Toronto.

“There were at times I was paddling alone and I never saw another person for like 5 days,” Martin said.

Martin, who’s originally from Kansas City, is now getting a little help from local kayakers on her journey who planned to launch with her Sunday, but mother nature had other plans.

After trying three different spots at Wilkeson Point and Sturgeon Pointe, they decided it was too icy.

On her kayak are the names of people with chronic diseases. Martin says whether she’s walking or on the water, she’s not alone.

“I feel very honored to be able to do that for people and I just want to show what’s possible.”

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