Starry Ganga Expedition
The Times of India
EmpowHER
We Are SkeptiXX
WBEZ 91.5
ABQ Journal Obituaries
Crested Butte News
RateYourBurn
Deseret News
The Examiner
SUP Magazine
Hindi/English Newspapers
India Express
Hindustan Times
The Hindu
The Times of India
Press Public
News Release - Varanasi
The Times of India
Express India
Hindustan Times
Tribune India
NPR Interview
Nuu-Muu Athletes
CFI on Campus
News Release - Starry Ganga
Grind TV
SUP Magazine
News Release - UNM Cancer Center
ABQ Journal
Seven PONDS

Dying Woman Paddles Until Death

With 6 months to live, Michele Baldwin embarks on a month-long voyage down the Ganges

Posted on October 19, 2011 by Dana Sitar (Blog Writer, SevenPonds)

Michele Baldwin, at 45 and a mother of three, has come up with a unique way to spend what may be her final days.

“I”m going out with a bang.”


 

Baldwin discovered early in the summer that she had cervical cancer, a form of cancer that claims 250,000 lives each year. She recently learned that, due to a rapid advancement of the cancer throughout her system, she had only about six months to live. In the face of this deadline, she decided to embark on a 700-mile stand-up paddleboard trip down the Ganges River in India.

“I’m going out with a bang,” Baldwin told
SUP magazine.

With possibly just months left, she is embarking on this journey not solely out of an interest in the sport, but also because she feels it’s something she “must do”, she told SUP.

“If I do live long enough to come home,” she said, “if I have a miracle, I’ll continue to fund-raise and maybe even plan another trip.”

With the publicity of this trip and other efforts, Baldwin hopes to raise $100,000 for the Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer.

Baldwin is a practicing Buddhist and a canoeing-kayaking guide from New Mexico. She set off last Monday for India and begins the trip down the river this week. She’ll ride a 12-foot inflatable stand-up paddleboard from Rishikesh in the Himalayas to the city of Varanasi. She hopes to cover 25 miles each day, with two four-hour sessions per day, to finish the voyage in about a month.

A friend will accompany Baldwin on the trip, riding alongside in a skull canoe and towing a small boat, so that Baldwin can rest when she needs to. Her family supports her completely in her endeavor. Audrey Baldwin, Michele’s 12-year-old daughter, has helped plan the adventure with her mom, and she even spoke to her class about her mom’s experiences and plans. She also spoke to the importance of Pap tests, reminding them that with regular screening and vaccination, cervical cancer is almost completely preventable.

“Although I’m prepared to die during the expedition,” Baldwin said, “I don’t want it for my kids…I just want to inspire them to live in a way that is strong.

The voyage has become more urgent lately to Baldwin, with the six-month prognosis. The cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes, is increasingly sapping her strength and causing more pain and nausea.

Through her courageous journey, Baldwin hopes “to inspire others to live to the end.”

For more information about the trip, visit Michele Baldwin’s site: starryganga.com

To donate to Baldwin’s living memorial:giahc.org

Sources:
Grind TV


Link to main article:
http://blog.sevenponds.com/something-special/dying-woman-paddles-until-death



Michele BaldwinPhotoVideoMediaVoicesAwardsSponsorsGanges RiverBuddhist Philosophy