Her name is Kate MacEachern, a 34 years old single mother from Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

In 2007, while she was a tanker with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), she was thrown from a horse during a parade practice. Unfortunately she had a serious spinal cord injury and bleeding in her brain. Eight long months in and out of hospital followed before she was getting better physically. Mentally, it was different.

About 9 months after the accident, Kate started presenting clinical symptoms of PTSD and was officially diagnosed in 2010. She denied it for 2 years, as most of us who are suffering from PTSD do, but it took a toll on her.

In 2012, then backed by her chain-of-command, Kate started a 572 kilometer walk from CFB Gagetown to her home in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 19 days later, she completed her journey. The goal of this long walk was to raise $25,000 for an organisation called Soldier On, who helps wounded soldiers. Almost unnoticed, she also broke the World Record for distance travelled in full military gear. The previous record was 385 kilometers in 23 days … She did her walk in 19 …

Even the Defence Minister, Peter MacKay was at the finish line wearing her t-shirt as she was receiving accolades and praise from him and the rest of the nation. He said:

“Your family, friends, your neighbours here, all Nova Scotians, all Canadians are so proud of your accomplishment, your compassion — your passion for your friends, your colleagues, your comrades to undertake this enormous journey on their behalf is such a living tribute to those who wore the uniform who continue to wear the uniform. As the Minister of National Defence and your local MP I am so thankful for what you have done for your community and your country. Thank you Kate.”

“My heart was exploding with pride and happiness’’ she wrote on her The Long Way Home Facebook page.

After seeing the success of her first walk, Kate decided to do another Long Way Home. Wearing a 55 pound rucksack, she would walk from the Cape Breton causeway, Nova Scotia to Ottawa, Ontario. An 1872 kilometers trek she would do to support the Military Minds organisation and to raise funds so they can continue breaking the silence.