CFB Gagetown soldier marching to N.S. to raise funds
Cpl. Kate MacEachern is collecting money to help injured soldiers
A Canadian Forces soldier is marching from CFB Gagetown to Antigonish, N.S., to raise money for an organization that helps injured soldiers recover.
Each day, Cpl. Kate MacEachern puts on her camouflage combat uniform, her backpack and her helmet.
But instead of marching at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, she is hiking to her hometown in Nova Scotia.
MacEachern left CFB Gagetown a week ago and she’s been walking about 40 kilometres a day.
She is raising money for the group Soldier On, which helps soldiers recover from their injuries.
MacEachern has come a long way in the last five years to even contemplate a 572-kilometre trek.
"I was in an accident actually on training in Edmonton. I had spinal cord [injury] and quite a significant head injury," she said.
"I ended up airlifted off the base and spent quite an amount of time in the hospital recovering."
After that accident, MacEachern could barely walk.
Now she said she wants her march to inspire anyone who has also faced adversity, even if they are not injured soldiers.
"I was quite severely injured and I learned first hand how hard it is to not give up and to keep fighting," she said.
Her family has joined her along the journey but she’s also getting encouragement from other military members.
Her colleagues, Cpl. Diane Stevens and Cpl. Nick Alonso, marched with MacEachern near Memramcook, N.B. on Tuesday.
Nearing Nova Scotia border
MacEachern said her feet may hurt at the end of the day from the long march, but she said that's nothing compared to the struggle people who've been injured have to go through.
And as the temperature rises, MacEachern said she is making sure to drink a lot of water to stay properly hydrated.
She is also eating a lot more than usual. But she notes she has lost 10 pounds since her march started.
MacEachern said her current goal is to reach the Nova Scotia border by Thursday.
"I'm getting so close to the border now that, ‘It's just I'm almost there!’" she said.
She said plans to arrive in her hometown of Antigonish next Friday.