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I’m Not Done Yet Foundation Supports First Descents

By: Emma Burick & INDYF

I’m Not Done Yet Foundation + First Descents

 

First Descents is thrilled to announce an exciting collaboration with the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation designed to expand our collective reach and impact.

“I’m Not Done Yet.” 

 

For Bobby Menges, these four words were an ethos, a guiding light, and a rallying cry to ignite passion and service in his community. This unwavering spirit defined Bobby not by his 14 year battle with cancer, but as a beloved friend, powerful advocate, avid adventurer, and ripping musician. His legacy is the continued source of inspiration for the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, whose mission is to support adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer and other serious, chronic, and long-term illnesses as they transition from pediatrics to adults. Bobby lived every day to its fullest potential and reminded others to never be done, a belief that resonates deeply within our own First Descents community. 

From day one we’ve been inspired by Bobby and the dedicated mission of the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, which is why we’re stoked to announce our new partnership in the year ahead! Together, we’re expanding the Out Living It Project to fuel the healing power of adventure for more young adults within varying stages of treatment and recovery. 

“For 20+ years we’ve seen participants experience a First Descents program and walk away with a new sense of identity and self actualization. This past year gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate how we provide that inspiration in the absence of in-person programming, which, for many AYAs newly diagnosed, is not an immediate possibility regardless of COVID-19. We’re redefining what that accessibility looks like and how we can share the wealth of resources within our organization to our broader community. 

We’ve always believed that First Descents is a catalyst to a life of adventure. In grateful partnership with the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, we’ll make our long-awaited vision for the Out Living It Project a reality and reach young adults earlier in the treatment process.”

– Ray Shedd, Director of Advancement

The Out Living It Project platform will provide expert adventure support, peer connection, and wellness resources to participants. As our community continues to manage the ongoing effects of a devastating pandemic, these resources come at a pivotal moment. Young adults living with cancer and other serious health conditions have been significantly and disproportionately impacted, and the need for social connection is more important than ever. We’re here to help plan for brighter days, prepare for epic adventures, and connect young adults with their peers to pursue healing in beautiful, wild places. 

JOIN THE OUT LIVING IT PROJECT

 

Our partnership with the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation is a powerful reflection of Bobby and thousands of other young adults whose courage reminds us to never be done Out Living It. Together, we’ll pursue a decades long vision to build a global community that embraces outdoor adventure and peer support to improve treatment and survivorship. 

“We are so excited to join forces with First Descents and create a logical and critical extension to support the AYA cancer community with the Outliving It Project. We’re thrilled to consider this our first, big and important step together.”

– Peter & Liz Menges, Founders of the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation

About the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation

The I’m Not Done Yet Foundation helps adolescent patients with serious, long-term, and chronic illnesses transition from pediatrics to adulthood. To do so, the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation proudly funds dedicated, appropriate spaces for to AYA patients within hospitals, medical research supporting labs studying AYA sarcomas, academic research studying the transition of care needs across multiple disciplines, and programs addressing the emotional and psychosocial needs of AYA patients. To learn more about the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, visit the website here.

1 thought on “I’m Not Done Yet Foundation Supports First Descents”

  1. My daughter Molly Oldham was diagnosed with Anaplastic Epedymoma (Brain Cancer) in 2019 in Akron Ohio and was treated at Akron Childrens and UH of Cleveland. She had surgery, 33 Proton radiation sessions and months of rehab. In Jan 2021 at a quarterly MRI, they found 2 new tumors. Without post op treatment options in Ohio, we temporarily to Duke Medical, for a second brain surgery, photon radiation and avastin and chemotherapy. There are only 300 kids a year that are diagnosed with AE, and fewer AYA. Molly and Noah connected through a cancer page and both relapsed. They are both finishing treatment for the recurrance and promised that they would sign up for a First Descents trip if they both made it through the second battle. Both are still recovering but received their first post op/treatment scans this past week!

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