Welcome providers! Young-adult cancer survivors form a unique community and have unique needs compared with other survivor groups. First Descents provides young-adult cancer survivors with an outdoor experience with other cancer survivors. We are committed to providing a safe and beneficial experience for your patients. Each camp is centered around an exciting activity such as kayaking, climbing or surfing – there are no therapy sessions or organized discussion groups. We have found that the shared challenges on the rock or the water create a unique environment for healing and bonding amongst survivors. The challenges that participants face every day at camp can also help them form a template for approaching the future challenges of survivorship. Click here for Survivor Feedback.
As a provider, you may have questions regarding which of your patients would benefit from a First Descents experience. We accept participants from age 18-39 years of age and we don’t have general limitations regarding diagnosis, disability, or prognosis. Participants must be released for the activity by their primary physician and through our medical review process, we attempt to best match applicants and answer any questions that releasing providers may have. We have had participants with amputations, seizure disorders, and hearing and sight deficits. Most participants are in remission, have completed their initial treatment course or are on some sort of ongoing therapy. While we often have medical volunteers attend each camp, we don’t have on-site chemotherapy or a dedicated oncology staff at the camp. Additionally, our partnering outfitters have established safety protocols much as any non-cancer course would provide.
We at First Descents feel that our model offers a unique option for young-adult cancer survivors looking to move beyond their diagnosis and face the rest of their lives with an adventurous spirit. We will gladly answer questions regarding your patient’s participation or how you can help –Click here for information on becoming a Medical Volunteer.