“Jockeys, Julips and Jazzz” – MyLifeLine.org Denver Derby Party

Denver, if you don’t have a place to go for the Derby yet then MyLifeLine.org is still selling tickets for their event at Invesco Field.

Jockeys, Juleps, and Jazz

Date: May 1, 2010

Time: 2:00 to 6:00

Location: INVESCO field at Mile High – West Club Level

Attire: Women – Sundresses and derby hats

Men – Kahki pants and button downs

To purchase Tickets and More information

Missing Moab Already…

We’re all still reeling from an amazing week in Moab, where FD kicked off the 2010 program season.  As always, Cheesesteak (aka Emily Beck) found a way to capture it beautifully.  Check out her blog and prepare to be inspired!  To see some incredible photos from the week, click here , where FD participant and talented photographer Fridge (aka Caroline Bridges) posted some amazing pics.  Thanks, gals!

New Participant Highlight

With our White Salmon, WA kayaking programs only a few weeks away, I though it would be fitting to spotlight a new FD’er headed to the Pacific NW in June.  Thanks, Aly!

Name:  Alyson Rachel Pospisil
Age:  25
Hometown:  Nutley, NJ
Dx:  Stage 3 Melanoma
Hobbies:  Sharing a good meal and a glass of wine with great friends

FD: How did you find out about First Descents?
AP: I received an email through an organization I am a part of in hopes I could spread the word to other cancer survivors I know. I decided in addition to sending it out, I would apply for it myself.
FD: Which program will you be attending?
AP: The kayaking program in WA
FD:  What attracted you to that specific program?
AP: Nothing seemed more wonderful to me that being surrounded by the gorgeous Washington scenery while paddling down the river!
FD:  How are you feeling about your decision to attend?
AP: I’m excited! This experience is pushing me to do a lot of firsts… I’ve never flown by myself, I’ve never been to the state of Washington, I’ve never spent a week with a group of individuals I’ve never met before.
FD: What are you hoping to get out of your week at FD?
AP: I’m hoping to push myself and experience things I would otherwise never get to do in my life.
FD:  What are three things about you that people might not know but should?
1) I’m getting married in September to the most amazing man I’ve ever met!
2) I could eat mangoes all day long, for every meal.
3) My favorite color is orange.

Thanks for sharing, Aly – see you in Washington!
– FD


It’s with a bitter sweet taste in my mouth that I write this entry.  We recently wrapped up our 1st camp of the season in Moab, Utah.  The bitter part is that it’s over.  The sweet part is that it was AMAZING!  There really aren’t words to describe the magic of that place, the power of the rock, the energy of the participants and the support and knowledge of the guides.

Moab marked many more “firsts” for First Descents.  It was the first time we tried that location and focused on technical vertical wall climbing.  Both left us breathless for two very different reasons.  The routes up the rock walls were as challenging as we wanted them to be and the sunsets were unlike any I have ever seen.  Speaking of “firsts”, on the last day, we did some HUGE rappels, the second of which was off a natural rock arch.  I’m still shaking.

One of the other firsts was working with CMS guides.  They proved to not only be incredible on the rock but embodied and carried the FD spirit off the rock.  It was a seamless partnership and one that we’re excited to build on this year in Estes.

Thank you to all who have made this dream a reality.  We owe you a huge debt of gratitude!

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up for a camp, I strongly suggest you do.  Estes is filling up quickly and if our Moab program was anything of a sneak preview, you WONT want to miss it!

The YES Liver Cancer Symposium

[Jonny Imerman, Suzanne Lindley, Kevin “Boa” LeBret-White]

The YES Liver Cancer Symposium in Dallas, Texas was the setting for yet another screening of the First Descents documentary. “Boa” and his wife Jennifer were able to show the video to a room full of people from around the world, including caregivers, survivors, and world renowned doctors. We would like to thank Jonny from Imerman Angels, Lynn from Voices of Survivors and Suzanne Lindley from YES for letting them spread the FD word.

For your copy of the First Descent Documentary, The River Ward, please email Lisa at [email protected]

2010 Spokane River Kickoff

“On April 17th the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club (www.sckc.ws) along with FD participants, Boa, Busey and Wacky Chan, participated in the 2010 Spokane River Kickoff. They were able to distribute information about First Descents and answer any questions.  10% of sales by SCKC will be donated to FD. Special thanks to Bad Santa and Busey who worked extra hard to make this a success.”  – Jen Lebret-White aka “Adriannnnnnn”

What Really Happened Between Brad Ludden and Jennifer Love Hewitt…

For those who frequent the epicenter of celebrity gossip—the infamous Page Six—you might have seen First Descents’ Founder, Brad Ludden’s name within the mix of today’s posts in a piece touting Jennifer Love Hewitt’s love-gone-wrong history. Although not one to kiss and tell, Brad felt it okay in this case because, well, truth be told, the two never so much as smooched so a) he couldn’t have really cheated on the television star and b) he’s in the clear to talk about it. “In all honesty, Jennifer and I spent a very short amount of time in each other’s company, but I always enjoyed it. She’s an awesome, driven woman. Super sweet, sincere and fun, but I think we both realized that the opportunity for a future wasn’t there and so she called a spade a spade and we both moved on,” said Ludden. Despite their separate zip codes, there was a cause beyond JLH that continued to beckon Brad: First Descents. Championing the cause remains his main focus and ultimate devotion. Sorry ladies. For now, more Page Six-worthy escapades will have to wait while Ludden spends his days (and nights) nurturing his most important darling.

FD Founder Brad Ludden after a 2 week expedition in Madagascar

Ludden hard at "work"

Spending time with his "GF"- a First Descents camp in Montana

National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week

This week is National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, we will be linking you to other blogs sharing stories, struggles, and triumphs of young adults with cancer. We invite you to share your story, make comments, and ask questions.

We were inspired by the Young Adult Video on the LIVESTRONG blog, we encourage everyone to take a look.

Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club

We’ve always said that the young adult fighters & survivors who attend our programs are the heartbeat of FD.  If we’re going to stick with the theme of assigning body parts, I guess that leaves the backbone to our dedicated volunteers, partners and sponsors.  This month, we want to spotlight one of our biggest supporters – The Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club (http://www.sckc.ws/), located in Spokane, WA.  SCKC has been contributing to FD for years – volunteering at programs, raising money for boats & gear, granting participant travel scholarships, and connecting with FD participants to continue paddling post-camp.    The members of SCKC are passionate about sharing their sport.  Long-time SCKC member and veteran FD volunteer Terry “Bad Santa” Miller has recently tackled a huge project.  Bad Santa has been experiencing the healing properties of whitewater kayaking at FD camps for years, and realized that there must be a way to help FD participants continue their adventures after they return home from camp.  Bad Santa and his faithful crew have been researching outdoor recreation resources all across the country, and are working to make them accessible to FD’ers from coast to coast.  Stay tuned for kayaking clubs, gear shops, and other outdoor resources in your own backyard.  Thanks to Bad Santa, the SCKC Board of Directors, and all SCKC members for your endless support and contribution.