WHO WE ARE
About the film
Out Living It recounts the story of young adults living with cancer who come together for a week-long adventure experience in the Colorado Mountains. It highlights the physical and psychological impact of cancer upon the lives of these survivors and documents the transformation that stems from their experiences. For some, it is the first time they have ever been in an encouraging community of peers where they are understood and supported without ever having to talk about their cancer. Each is pushed outside their personal comfort zone by whitewater kayaking and rock climbing, and by facing these challenges; they develop a new sense of identity and passion for living beyond their cancer diagnosis.
The film tells its story through the experiences of four primary characters: Scooter, Lash, Cookie and Limbo along with First Descents Founder, Brad Ludden during the week-long camp.
The Making Of
Out Living It was created to document the transformation of people living with cancer as they discover their ability to embrace life while navigating the challenges of their disease. Serac Adventure Films teamed with First Descents to create a film that portrays the triumph of human spirit in the face of adversity while inspiring its audience to seek challenge, adventure, risk and laughter.
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About the filmmaker
A world-class mountaineer and three-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Michael Brown has completed over fifty expeditions to all seven continents- all with cameras rolling. He has made a habit of going to the world’s harshest, most dangerous environments, including the summit of Mount Everest- fie times, the South Pole, climbing the North Face of the Eiger, and repelling down 1,500 feet through caves in Mexico. Ever determined, Michael always returned with footage and stories. Outside Magazine describes the cerebral filmmaker as a “swashbuckling librarian”, and Men’s Journal calls him ”a master of gut-dropping action”. As founder of the Outside Adventure Film School, Michael practices another of his favorite pursuits: teaching.
MEET THE CHARACTERS
Nate “Scooter” Post
Since a young age Nate had an innate curiosity about people, about other cultures and the adventure of life so by 14 he was gone and never really looked back. His adventures have taken him to places like Baltimore, Chicago, Maui and most of South America.
In 2004, he started college at the Conrad Hilton School at the University of Houston with a dream of building iconic hotels. He wanted to build places people dreamed about going and part of that was doing an internship at Walt Disney World. While in school, he met his future wife, Kristy. In December 2008 he graduated from college and went to South America for a surf trip. During those 12 weeks, his symptoms grew worse and after a slew of tests, he arrived home and ended up in the ER with an advanced Stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
Over the next two years, he spent most of his time in hospitals between Denver, Indianapolis and Houston all while Kristy and his family never left his side. Nate experienced so much during his treatment, including tearing two large holes in his aorta (losing 99 units of blood) and having the first full abdominal aortic resection in medical history.
Nate and Kristy currently reside in Florida where he is finishing his MBA program, and Kristy, her nursing degree. Nate feels that First Descents brought back the person he knew before he was sick. Cancer has forever changed his life and those around him but FD helped him realize how to embrace that change and use it to positively impact others – and for that he is forever grateful.
Laura “Cookie” Esposto
Pursuing a life-long passion for music and expression, Laura attended Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance where she earned a degree in Music Education with a focus on classical flute. During her time as an undergraduate , she developed a deep love for the practice of yoga and, since graduating, Laura has earned a certification in ChildLight Yoga and a 50- hour Align & Flow certification.
In 2008, during her first year as music teacher and choir director at Chestnutwold Elementary School, and newly engaged to her now husband, Philip, Laura began to experience increasing fatigue and abdominal pain as well as a persistent rash. After several unproductive visits to an allergist and many more blood tests, she was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. In August of 2010, after more than a year of unsuccessful
treatment with oral chemotherapy, Laura underwent a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor through the National Bone Marrow Registry. Though she suffered significant effects from graft-versus-host disease, Laura is now living a full and cancer-free life. She is deeply grateful to her donor for the new lease on life he generously gave and to her husband and family for their selfless love and support, especially for their many and tiring trips from Philadelphia to Houston for her treatment.
Laura and Philip currently live outside of Philadelphia and are dedicated to the First Descents mission through participation in FD camps and many TeamFD challenges. They view their experience with cancer as a reminder to live life with gratitude and joy and see FD as an embodiment of those values.
Shanda "Limbo" Braithwaite
Shanda Braithwaite fell in love with whitewater on her first trip, though a young adult cancer organization called First Descents, which she numbers among her greatest blessings of life with cancer.
Right after turning 30, she began the battle for her life against stg. 4 Appendix cancer that each day she is reminded that she won! After an intensely grueling two years of bedridden hospitalizations, surgeries, and chemo, she has a renewed vigor for life and all it has to offer. She learned early that the only thing she could control was her attitude and she truly embodies the spirit of making the most of each day!
She is a wife and mother of two girls and lives in Richland, Washington with her family. She loves life..ranging from the daily grind to the most thrilling adventures. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Communication Studies, but is taking a break from work while living a full life and enjoying time with her family. After cancer, she decided to regain control of her health and life and loves kayaking, traveling, hiking, sailing, tennis, teaching Zumba, and advocating for cancer patients to get needed treatments. She has watched the body heal and the human spirit prevail and doesn't take life for granted.