of $15,000 Raised
Camille Richards


That seems to be the most common response I hear when I tell people what I am doing to raise money for the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA).

While I know that is a rhetorical question, I will attempt to answer it anyway.  

A simple "Yes" would be easy to defend but I don't do anything easy - hence this challenge... So, here goes my explanation.

I am going to kayak 1,515 miles around Florida over the next 3 years in 2-4 week increments.  The journey is known as the Florida Circumnavigation Trail and it has been completed by about 25 individuals, mostly men. Now you can see why people are asking if I'm crazy!  

While some may debate this, NO, I am not crazy.  I love kayaking, camping, and especially love challenges.  I wanted to do something BIG to help raise money for ACHA and couldn't generate enough interest with another 5K, fun run, or heart walk in my area. So, I'm doing something that I love to do, will test my ability to pack weeks worth of gear into a kayak, will allow me to meet people along the way, and educate others on congenital heart defects (CHD).  Here are a few others.

Reasons to do the Florida Circumnavigation Trail (FCT):

  1. Kayaking is one of the most challenging activities in which some people with CHD cannot participate due to the stress on the heart (see table below). What a great way to engage people with CHD and "take them along" in my journey.
  2. Only 1 woman has completed the trail and I'm all about balancing out the odds.
  3. I will be starting my journey on my birthday, November 14 and I can't think of a better birthday present for myself.
  4. I am so thankful for the ACHA, my job, and the patients who trust me to take care of them. I will be spending Thanksgiving on the water during this segment of the trip.
  5. I have a 3 year term on the ACHA board of directors, That should give me enough time to complete the challenge!

I will be adding more reasons over the next few years so stay tuned for the updates.

A Little About Me....

I've been a nurse for over 25 years and a nurse practitioner for 16.  In my career, I have helped people live healthier lives, and make tough healthcare decisions. As my knowledge and skills have grown, I have realized that I cannot did it alone.  I have sought out people and organizations with similar goals and motivation that I have. I work along side some of the most passionate care givers I have ever met.  In my work, I met a patient who is now my friend who introduced me to the ACHA. Within a year, I saw the same passion in the people who work for and with the ACHA.  I became a member of the Board of Directors in 2016 and am proud to serve this organization.  

I live outside of Jackson Mississippi and I've been happily married for 10 years to my sweet and supportive husband.  He is planning on supporting me from land and hopes to make the journey along the coast on his road bike!  My father in his sailboat and my aunt and uncle in their trawler are nearby for support if needed.  

I'm excited to get started in November 2016 and will map my progress on this site as a blog.  Please help support my goal to raise $15,000 over the next 3 years to help adults living with congenital heart defects thrive. 

If you'd like to make a donation by check, please mail your gift to:

Adult Congenital Heart Association
Attn: Camille Richards Fundraiser
3300 Henry Avenue, Suite 112
Philadelphia, PA 19129

Thanks you all!

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