Chapter 3
“I Have To Do This Now”

No Time To Wait

Modern treatments have helped Traci successfully manage her rheumatoid arthritis in ways that didn’t exist during her grandmother’s lifetime. Like many other RA patients diagnosed in recent decades, Traci most likely will elude the debilitating deformities that caused her grandmother to need the help of a wheelchair.

Although Traci’s condition is under control, her RA is progressing and she experiences pain in parts of her body that were previously free of symptoms. Setting a world record, circumnavigating the Great Lakes, paddling 32.5 miles a day for 10 months straight, these all are feats that Traci feels are within her ability level at this point in her life. Her RA is a major motivation that compels her to pursue these goals now, despite her young sons and her daughter. If she puts off her dream as the RA progresses, she might not be able to accomplish what she believes she can today.

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Incredible Things

Traci is confident that she can reach her goal now before her RA progresses.


Navigating RA

It’s small surprise that Traci is anxious at the prospect of potentially not returning to her family. She’ll need to manage her potentially debilitating medical condition in the most remote of settings. Her flares are often triggered by the cold, and can severely affect how she feels and performs physically. In a climate where she will be surrounded by sub-40 degree water for up to 10 hours a day, Traci will need to rely on her mental strength to help push her endure.
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Winter Flares

Despite her rheumatoid arthritis, Traci is determined to accomplish her goals in life.


Her Decision

After years of planning, coordinating, and saving, the date of Traci’s departure is drawing near. She will paddle away from the shore at Port Huron with support from others along the way who also believe in her dream, but the real risks are hers to face as she navigates the frigid water mile after mile, day after day, and month after month.
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The Journey Begins

Traci hopes to find out if she is as strong as the standard to which she holds herself.


Special thanks to Traci Martin and her family, The City of Sugar Creek and Jackson County Parks & Rec, and Genesis Health Club. Keep up to date with Traci's journey at and follow HealthCentral on Facebook for updates from Remedy Health Media.

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