First Descents provides life changing outdoor adventures for young adults (age 18-39) impacted by cancer. During each week long program, lives of these fighters and survivors of cancer are transformed through learning how to kayak, surf or climb while being supported and surrounded by peers. These week long camps are offered at no charge to the camper by First Descents, through the generosity of their donor and sponsorship program.
Campers come together from across the country to form an incredible support system, and to do something that most of them had never previously thought about doing. Learning new things, particularly sports, is a challenging, exhausting, and humbling process for everyone.
Making these experiences possible for a group of people who have been through trials that many of us can’t imagine, is humbling and rewarding. Depending on how and when they were impacted, many may have lost faith in the abilities of their bodies, yet made the choice to do something that they’re not sure they’re capable of. And guess what? Every single one of them did it. The energy was contagious. High fives, hugs, stories over dinner of the incredible feats of the day, celebrating one another, and how what seemed like a small sporting success was so much bigger than that.
For the last 8 years, Wet Planet has been the regional host and facilitator for the First Descents program. If you watch CNN, the name Brad Ludden may ring a bell. Brad, professional kayaker and founder of this program, was nominated for CNN Hero of the Year, honoring the fantastic work of this non-profit organization. If you’d like to get involved, visit First Descents for volunteer opportunities or donation information.