This last week was 1st Descents camp. 1st Descents is a small nonprofit group of like-minded, warm-hearted hippies in Colorado. They put on these free adventure camps for adult cancer survivors (20’s + 30’s ish). They do white water kayacking, mountain climbing, and surfing. They paid for everything – flew a group of about 10 survivors and volunteers out to the Appalachians in North Carolina, all our food, lodging. We stayed in these great log houses in yahoo mountain town. I was one of the 4 guys. There were about 6 girls, and about 6 staff/volunteer people: a photographer, “mom’s” to cook and what not, a doctor, and 2/3 staff dudes to run the whole thing. We’d rise every morning to a stunning mountain sunrise, good home cooking, and great coffee out on the porch of our main cabin. We’d then spend all day trudging the ferocious rivers in little kayaks, then bond more throughout the night with dinners, flying whip cream, and emotional camp fires. It was amazing, dangerous, deep, and very fun – a perfect week long get-away.
Though, the most important and rewarding experience of the journey, was sharing that experience with other cancer survivors. The second we all met for the first time – these strong bonds began to manifest. We shared that deep connection of being a survivor; that we have all been through it; that we all understood something about each other that no one else in their life could.
One of the most important things to a patient or survivor of a terminal illness, is meeting, or just knowing there are others out there just like themselves, who are experiencing the same thing – that you are sharing that deep, very unique wisdom that comes with it. That’s TalkAboutHealth (talkabouthealth.com), that’s I2Y cancer foundation (i2y.org), and that’s 1st Descents; connecting us soldiers and veterans and making sure that our intense hellish, tortureish, and cancerish experiences are rewarded and connected.
To find out more about 1st Descents, or to get involved (which is super easy),
Post by Johnny Cathcart - firstname.lastname@example.org