Teen travels down the Mississippi by kayak to raise money for a cancer he battled a few months ago
POSTED: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 6:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — One young man has overcome the impossible. He made a journey many people would never dare to take.
Brock Wood, 19, started his journey kayaking down the Mississippi 42 days ago in Minnesota. It's all to raise money for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is a disease he battled and won.
“All of a sudden as a joke we said why not the whole entire Mississippi River? I said why not, it’s the third longest river in the world,” Wood, a native of Alexandria, Minnesota, said.
But in order to take the trip, he needed a reason and that reason came fast, with full force.
"It was awful. He's the youngest of five and we thought all our kids were perfect and then all of a sudden this happens,” said Brock’s dad, Dan. “It was devastating."
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was a battle he won in four months flat and now his second journey called Paddle4kins.
The foundation and journey is geared toward helping others beat it, too. But one things for sure, Brock says it hasn't been easy.
"We have our bottles of water here we drink about 3 of these a day," said Wood.
They get up at 7:00 a.m. and are on the water for 12-hours a day, making 60-mile treks and eating freeze dried food.
"Actually these are peddles and these kayaks are called Hobi Kayaks, they have peddles for your legs you stick them inside the kayak,” stated Wood. “And they work like a dolphin fin."
Despite the exhaustion, he never gave up.
“As you can see he's tired out, he's been in that kayak for 41 days,” said Brock’s dad, Dan.
“It’s awesome to know that I have traveled about 22 hundred miles. It’s been great and it’s been a journey of a lifetime."
This trip is something not many people can say they have accomplished, especially for such a good cause.
“I’ll always have these memories and always have this story to tell just excited to finish it up, I guess."
So after finishing chemo in March, only four months later, Brock has successfully traveled the Mississippi, from top to bottom.
Four of Brock’s friends took turns keeping him company on the trip and the last two days his dad was the one by his side.
When they made it to Baton Rouge on Thursday, July 25 they had raised $20,000, but they expects more donations from fundraisers that are being held in New Orleans.