When Michele Baldwin learned she only had months to live, the 45-year-old single mother decided to try something never done before: paddle board the 700-mile Ganges River. Her journey was not only personal, but also purposeful — with an aim to raise awareness about cervical cancer, a preventable disease that kills more than 50,000 women in India each year. 

Baldwin's record-breaking achievement, and the emotionally raw and touching end that followed it, are the focus of a new documentary "Lady Ganga" by director Frederic Lumiere.

"The truth is, cervical cancer is caused by a highly prevalent, sexually transmitted virus called HPV," writes Lumiere. "80 percent of ALL people under 50 years of age will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lives. Globally, HPV causes many types of cancers in both men and women. This is why Michele dreamed of making an even bigger impact, not just in India but all over the World. That dream of hers has become this film."

Lumiere and writer Mark Hefti are behind a new Kickstarter to fund the completion of the short-form documentary, with 100 percent of any profits from the film to go towards the Michele Baldwin Memorial Fund and the Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer.

"This is reality," Baldwin says at one point in the video. "All I can do is make my dying change that for others."

To contribute to the Kickstarter (which is already approaching its initial $50,000 goal), jump here

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Lady Ganga': A true film of courage, cancer and one woman's inspiring legacy
After a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Michele Baldwin decided to paddle board 700 miles down the Ganges River to raise awareness.