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Over the past two decades, healthcare professionals have partnered with First Descents to Prescribe Adventure to more than 10,000 young adults with cancer and multiple sclerosis. Now, our healthcare heroes are experiencing unprecedented stress and trauma as they care for COVID-19 patients.
That’s why First Descents (FD) and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation (JICF) have teamed up to launch HERO RECHARGE – a nationwide series of FREE outdoor adventure programs for more than 1,000 healthcare professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s our turn to provide our heroes with the opportunity to find adventure and renewal in wild places.
From rock climbing to kayaking, surfing to mountain biking, healthcare workers will have the opportunity to experience peak adventure on First Descents programs beginning in the fall of 2020, or as public health directives permit. “Doctors, nurses, and first responders are on the frontlines of the most devastating health crisis of our generation,” said Ryan O’Donoghue, Executive Director of First Descents. “Our goal is to address this trauma through unforgettable outdoor adventures that will nurture supportive peer relationships and give these heroes the respite and renewal they deserve.” These first-of-their-kind programs will range from multi-day to single day adventures, and will support healthcare professionals who have worked directly with patients in the highest hit coronavirus geographies across the US.
We know that these programs will bring the reprieve that our nurses, doctors and first responders need right now. For the past twenty years, FD participants, volunteers and staff have testified this core belief: there is no better way to recharge than getting out on the rivers, rocks, trails and waves. “The healing power of outdoor adventure is real, and exactly what my colleagues and I need to help us through this storm,” said Mary Beth Spinos, Nurse Practitioner and First Descents Volunteer. “This program gives us something to look forward to – the chance to recreate in wild places with people who understand what it’s like to be on the frontlines of this crisis.”
First Descents stands ready to continue providing programs for young adults coping with cancer and multiple sclerosis when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we couldn’t be more excited to spread the healing power of adventure to those who are tirelessly fighting on the frontlines.
A huge thanks to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation for partnering with First Descents to make these life-changing programs possible. To join our mission, consider donating to HERO RECHARGE today to extend the healing power of adventure to the thousands of healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of this crisis.
Thanks for believing in our mission. You can donate to provide more healthcare heroes with the opportunity to recharge in the outdoors by visiting this link.
Equally inspiring, you can help us spread the healing power of adventure by sharing HERO RECHARGE with the healthcare workers and first responders you know.