Paddle 4 Kins

Updated: 07/03/2013 10:51 PM
Created: 07/01/2013 7:54 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

Last year, Brock Wood decided to kayak the Mississippi River. He found someone to sponsor the trip, as long as he was paddling for a cause. Little did Brock know, he was about to find one in himself while on an elk hunt in Colorado.

"I was about a quarter mile away from my dad and I had an attack," he said. "I collapsed, the whole left side of my body went completely numb. My face, my arm, my leg, everything. I dropped and thought I was having a heart attack."

After a few hours, the pain eased up, and Brock was able to get to a hospital, where he was told he had either Lyme's Disease, or cancer. A short time later, doctors back home in Alexandria broke the tough news.

"They told me right on the spot I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma," Brock said. "It was a pretty tough moment sitting in a hospital chair going from Lyme's disease to a type of cancer."

Fortunately, doctors caught it early. After six chemotherapy sessions and three weeks of radiation, Brock was on the road to recovery.

"Right now I feel great and better than ever," he said.

His battle with the disease lit a fire in Brock.

"I was ready to take anything on," Brock said. "If I was gonna live a month, a week, a year, my whole life, I was set. I was gonna live my life as normal as I could."

He wanted to give back, to help others facing Hodgkin's. So Brock and his friend Jesse Hacker are paddling from Northern Minnesota to New Orleans, raising money as they go.

"Our goal was the raise $100,000 dollars, and with that $100,000 dollars we plan to go straight to the Lymphoma Research Foundation."

"I have a grandma and a grandpa who both have lymphoma and two aunts who have gone through lymphoma," Hacker said.

Jesse's parents are nervous about the trip, but know the boys will have support.

"They've said they've already met so many kind people along the way that have helped them, that have offered them things they have needed, and we know that will continue," Sharon Hacker.

For Brock, the journey is one thing, but the cause is what matters most.

"It means the world to me, it really does," Brock said. "Seeing how many other people had a more tough situation with lymphoma than me, that's why I'm doing this to get more research to help others."


For more information or to donate to Paddle 4 Kins, visit

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