Man paddle boards from Columbia to Charleston after mom diagnosed

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Breast cancer awareness month is right around the corner and one man is combining paddles and pink to find a cure.

Hunt Summerford paddled 160 miles from Columbia to Charleston to raise awareness and money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. One influential person in his life gave him the push to paddle.

Despite chilly weather and grey skies in Charleston on Sunday, the only color one paddle boarder is seeing is pink. Summerford found out a little over a year ago that his mother had breast cancer. To show his gratitude for her survival, Summerford picked up a board and picked out a charity.

"The Susan G. Komen Foundation was, that was the best pick to go for to raise money for somebody," Summerford said.

Summerford got in the water in Columbia a few days ago. He was prepared to paddle at least 30 miles a day and made his way down the Congaree River toward Charleston.

"We sent him on his way," said mother Libby Summerford. "It was really hard to watch him paddle off into the distance."

Summerford's mother says her son has had this idea on his mind since she was diagnosed.

"He's had a real passion," she said. "Ever since it came to him it's haunted him so he had to pursue it."

Hunt Summerford says he wants to leave his mark on people and hopes it inspires them to take action when they're going through something tough.

"Hopefully it inspires people when they have a great idea to just do it," he said. "When they have it, don't just have the idea, go forward with it."

After 160 miles, Summerford says he expected to only see a few family members at his arrival, but he was met with so many more.

"When I called the maritime center, I told them four or five people," he said. "Then I found out a bunch of friends family and news people were going to be here. It was really great seeing everyone."

Now that the journey is over, Summerford says he has one thing on his mind. Summerford raised more than $5,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. His paddleboard he made the journey on is being auctioned off to raise more funds for the charity.

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