2021 Multiple Sclerosis Programs are live! Learn more about our upcoming adventures for young adults living with MS.
First Descents believes in total organizational transparency. What follows is an overview of our general policies, governance structure, accreditations, and program efficacy.
For questions or further details, please contact:
Director of Finance and Operations
Governance & Evaluation
First Descents Board of Directors (details) provides guidance and strategic oversight of the organization. Board committees include Executive, Development, and Finance. Further First Descents’ Medical Advisor Board (details) establishes the medical program criteria for participant enrollment; establishes protocols and procedures for participant care; recruits medical volunteers, and coordinates resources of participating hospitals.
Verification of excellent service delivery and program efficacy is derived from the following external sources:
It is our policy to never share or sell the names, addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses of our donors.
Medical Information and Applications
First Descents’ physical, network, and process security protocols are fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Health information is reviewed by First Descents’ Medical Advisory Board. Only relevant health details are shared with First Descents’ lead staff and guides to ensure safe, tailored, and inclusive programming.
Click here for more information on HIPPA.
Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that our commitment to diversity and inclusion builds a stronger, more powerful First Descents community and supports our aspiration to become the global leader in adventure-based healing. We know that disease does not discriminate. We reflect on what healing, recreation, and adventure are for our participants, and strive to find the marriage of what we do brilliantly with what a diverse and representative program participant group may need.
The Sites contain links to the websites of other companies and third parties. First Descents is not responsible for the content, practices, privacy policies or terms of usage of those websites.
Collection and Use – You can utilize certain functionality of the Sites without providing personally identifiable information. However at your sole discretion, you may choose to register with First Descents in order to purchase products, make donations or participate with us. The following require that you provide personally identifiable information:
First Descents does not collect any personally identifiable information from the Sites unless it is provided voluntarily. We use personally identifiable information only for purposes consistent with the reasons for its provision, such as:
Making a Donation: First off, thank you. First Descents is sustained by the exceptional generosity of our family of donors. By making a gift, you’re helping transform lives. In order to complete your donation, we collect information associated with your credit card to bill for payment, including your name, address, phone number and other identifying information reasonably necessary to complete the transaction.
Purchases of Products and Services: In order to allow you to purchase products or services through the Sites, we collect information associated with your credit card to bill for payment, confirm orders and ship products, including your name, address, phone number and other identifying information reasonably necessary to complete the transaction.
Newsletter: We offer a periodic newsletter to voluntary subscribers. You can subscribe to the newsletter by telling us you want to subscribe to it on the Contact Us page. As part of subscribing, we collect your name, e-mail address, mailing address and other contact information. You may be asked to provide other information in connection with specific programs, or more generally about your interests, so we may specifically tailor our communications with you. This information is not sold, given, or shared with any unaffiliated third-party and is only used to update you with new products, events, or other First Descents news. We encourage all of our subscribers to share these newsletters with their friends and we are open to ideas for what you would like to see in them. If you ever decide you wish to no longer receive the newsletter, you can always unsubscribe.
Information Requests: You may be asked to provide personally identifiable information so that we may respond to your requests for information made through the Sites or its Contact Us link.
General Uses: Your personally identifiable information will be used as described in the Site where submitted, in accordance with the published legal terms contained in the footer of such Site. We may also use your personally identifiable information to customize communications with you about products or services, for identity verification, to collect any debts owed, to investigate disputes and for other purposes that may be legally required.
Non-Identifying Information: Non-identifying information related to operating systems, browsers and linking IP addresses are collected to optimize your interests, preferences and experience on the Sites. First Descents may collect and share aggregate website statistical information with third parties. No such shared statistical information will contain any personally identifiable information.
Database Usage: We may supplement the personally identifiable information collected from you on the Sites with data collected from other sources, including but limited to information provided in person, by phone or by mail. We reserve the right to use third-parties to supplement your personally identifiable information, including change of address, contact and financial information.
Cookies; IP Address – Text files stored in your web browser, or “Cookies,” allow us to collect information about your use of the Sites. Cookies are used to recall your personally identifiable information, including user registration, to customize your use of the Sites. Cookies identify you when you visit our Sites, so you can put items in your shopping cart and place your order. You need to have Cookies enabled in order to shop online at the Sites. If you have disabled Cookies in your web browser, you must place your order via phone or email. (Each browser has its own method of enabling and disabling cookies, so check the “Help” menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.) Cookies are also used aggregately to track user patterns on the Sites to help us improve the user experience.
Our web servers also collect information about your connection to the Internet, including your IP Address. Your IP Address does not identify you individually; however, we use your IP address to optimize the Site experience, to administer and improve Site functionality and to diagnose problems users may encounter. First Descents also uses your IP Address to determine navigation routes to the Site.
Control of Information – First Descents may contact you with information concerning products, services or promotions; however, you always have the choice to unsubscribe from such communications. You may contact us to manage your marketing preferences and to request removal from marketing lists at the address provided below or through “Contact Us” within the Sites. Additionally, marketing communications from First Descents will contain an opt-out or unsubscribe mechanism allowing you to change your marketing preferences. If you decide not to receive communications from First Descents, we may continue to use your personally identifiable information in order to communicate with you regarding transactions, products and other information of an informative nature.
Sharing of Information – First Descents will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to non-affiliated third parties for marketing purposes. First Descents may share your personally identifiable information with affiliates or representatives with whom First Descents maintains a business relationship.
First Descents may hire third parties to provide services on its behalf, which may entail the use of personally identifiable information. Such third parties are required to maintain the confidentiality and security of personally identifiable information they receive from First Descents. They are restricted from using personally identifiable information for any purposes other than those authorized by First Descents.
Again, you may contact us to manage these preferences and to request removal from these affiliate and representative lists at the address provided below or through “Contact Us” within the Sites.
Other than as described above, First Descents will not share your personally identifiable information collected on the Sites with third parties without your permission, except as is reasonably necessary: (i) to complete a transaction, (ii) to respond to a direct inquiry, (iii) to register you for communications and promotions that you request, (iv) to comply with any federal, state or local law, court order or proceeding that is legal in nature; or (v) to enforce an agreement with you, to protect the interests of First Descents, its affiliates or representatives with whom First Descents maintains a business relationship, or as is otherwise permitted or compelled by law.
In the event of a transfer, merger or reorganization involving First Descents, your personally identifiable information shall be transferred to the acquiring company.
SSL Encryption – When you submit personally identifiable information through our Sites, including credit card information, the data is transmitted using secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption technology. However, no electronic data transmission can be guaranteed as 100% secure. While First Descents strives to protect your personally identifiable information during transmission, we do not warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or receive from us.
Unsolicited Submissions – Communications or suggestions made by you through the Sites which are not by their nature intended to be confidential, shall be deemed to be non-confidential. First Descents will have no obligation of any kind with respect to such communications and shall be free to use and distribute them to others without limitation, including, but not limited to, their use for marketing purposes.
Children Under 13 – As a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the lives of young adult cancer fighters and survivors, and in order to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, First Descents does not intentionally market to children under the age of 13, the Sites are not intended for use by those under the age of 13 and First Descents does not intentionally collect personally identifiable information about children under the age of 13. If you are under 13 and would like to purchase products through the Site, please ask a parent or guardian for assistance. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any personally identifiable information to us.