FDX Programs

Your Guide to Out Living It Abroad

FDX Programs are an incredible opportunity for First Descents alumni to enjoy an unbelievable Out Living It experience while raising funds to extend the healing power of adventure to more young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions. Below we break down eligibility, the application process, and more!

Who: Eligibility and Requirements

  • Any First Descents alumni that has participated in a week-long oncology program
  • Some FDX programs allow for +1’s to attend. +1’s are also required to raise the full fundraising minimum and must be 18 years of age.

How is FDX different from a weeklong program?

FDX programs, although unique and meaningful, are very different from week-long programs. 

  • FDX programs are not a recreation of week-long programs; they feel and function very different. FDX programs take Out Living It to the next level. Participants should be prepared for a lot more independence and responsibility. 
  • FDX programs do not have volunteers or chefs, and typically only have one FD Lead Staff. This means that participants are asked to collaborate in meal prep, tidy up shared spaces, and stay accountable for their gear and belongings during travel and activities.

What we expect of you: 

  • Follow the First Descents code of conduct
  • Be a team player.
  • Be patient and willing to go with the flow. 
  • Bring some spending money, and plan your budget responsibly.
  • Show up ready to embrace the #OutLivingIt spirit!

Travel insurance:

First Descents requires that all participants obtain travel insurance for their FDX program. There are many travel insurance plans available, so we recommend doing your research to find a plan that works best for you. First Descents asks that participants have minimum coverage for emergency evacuation, but we recommend that you purchase more coverage for other travel changes and circumstances that may present themselves.

International travel:

International travel can be dynamic for many reasons. If you have not traveled much internationally before, do your research ahead of time. Pro Tips: Give yourself extra time. Stay organized! Be patient and flexible. Expect some unexpected adventures!

Forms and Requirements:

  • Submit an application during the open application window
  • If/once accepted, work with the First Descents OLIP Coordinator to create your fundraising page
  • Be prepared to do the following if you are accepted to a program
    • Sign the Fundraising agreement
    • Fill out the Participant Medical Application
    • Have your doctor complete the FD Physical Exam Form
    • Sign the FD Waiver
    • Fill out the Travel form
    • Submit your Medical update form

Application and Selection Process:

When selecting participants for FDX programs, First Descents considers a handful of criteria to ensure the safety and success of each program. Considerations include but are not limited to:
  • If an applicant has attended a week-long oncology program
  • If an applicant has attended an FDX. If yes, we look at where, when, how long ago, and what their experience was on the program
  • How many programs an applicant has been on
  • If/how often a participant has been waitlisted for a program
  • Successful completion of medical application and approval from FD’s medical review team
  • Group dynamics and balance
  • Applicant age

While we wish we could provide FDX opportunities to everyone who applies, spots are still limited. While there is no simple and easy way to make selections, we try our best to bring these opportunities to as many participants as we can to support them in continuing their Out Living It pursuits.