Nominate First Descents

2018 Biden Cancer Initiative FIERCE Awards

Reason For Nomination

We encourage you to share your personal story and experiences with FD. How has this community impacted your own life and inspired you to Out Live It? Why does FD deserve to win this award? Your story is powerful and we want you to share it with the Biden Cancer Institute in support of First Descents.


First Descents (FD) provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults (ages 18-39) impacted by cancer.

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First Descents (FD) is the leader in adventure-based healing. Through outdoor adventure, community building, and skills development, FD improves long-term survivorship and quality of life for young adults impacted by cancer. Headquartered in Denver, First Descents will provide more than 1,200 experiences across over 100 adventure programs nationwide in 2018. All services are fully-adaptive and free of charge. A Guidestar Platinum-ranked nonprofit, First Descents has been recognized on CNN Heroes and Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work.  

First Descents addresses what the National Cancer Institute identifies as a major determinant of long term survivor health: ongoing psychosocial supportive care. FD was early to recognize a gap in psychosocial support services and has developed programs designed to empower young adults with cancer through unforgettable outdoor adventures. Each year, more than 70,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Furthermore, 5-year survival rates for AYAs have not improved since the early 1970s. Caught at a pivotal time in their lives – finishing college, building a career, starting a family, working to establish financial independence – these individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancers and are often underinsured or uninsured. As a result, young adults make up the most underserved and isolated cancer demographic.

First Descents believes cancer survivorship, while made possible through modern medicine, is complemented and completed through a continuum of services that reach well beyond the hospital walls. By partnering with those who agree with this belief, FD is able to empower more young adults living with and surviving cancer to begin ”Out Living It” and fully enjoy life.

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