Conor Flannery, a biomedical engineer in Santa Monica, launched Cause to Paddle, a 2,500 miles kayaking journey that will raise $20,000 for Med Share, a non-profit organization that recycles surplus medical supplies and sends them to countries in need.
Flannery will be kayaking from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska and will begin his journey March 13. He will kayak approximately 15 miles every day and camp along the Pacific Coast with leave-no-trace principles. He estimates it will take him five months to kayak all 2,500 miles to Anchorage.
“I love MedShare’s combination of humanitarian purpose with environmental impact and I hope my expedition paddle can bring attention to their cause and first world stewardship for those in need of basic medical resources,” said Flannery.
Volunteering has been a long passion of Flannery’s since his college days. With his career as a medical device engineer and his enthusiasm for community service, Flannery is using Cause to Paddle for raise $8 per mile for MedShare. This will sponsor one 40-foot container of medical supplies to a needy hospital abroad.
As medical device design engineer at St. Jude Medical in Los Angeles, Flannery has helped develop life-saving equipment for pacemaker and cardiac arrhythmia patients that help reduce the approximately 900,000 annual deaths from cardiovascular diseases in the US.
He now will be partnering with MedShare whose mission emerged in 1998 when A .B. Short and Bob Freeman were concerned with the critical healthcare needs of the underserved populations throughout the world and the environmental threat of discarded medical supplies and equipment. It was in graduate school at Georgia Tech when Flannery instantly connected with the MedShare mission. While vice president of the Engineering World Health student chapter, he led student volunteer trips to MedShare’s headquarters in Atlanta to fix and verify biomedical equipment and to sort surplus medical supplies such as surgical tools and packaged catheters, which would eventually go to patients in need.
“We are excited that Conor has chosen MedShare as the recipient charity for Cause to Paddle. His mission seems to match well with our mission to improve both the environment and global health,” said A.B Short, CEO and Co-Founder of MedShare.
Flannery joined his supporters Tuesday night for a pre-launch presentation at the REI Store in Santa Monica and at a farewell gathering, as he will begin his expedition early this month.
Mirror Contributing Writertim@smmirror.com