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Feb 16

Brad LuddenI stay positive by simply going outside. Over the course of my life I have realized that if I can just convince myself to put down my work, life, tv, book or car and force myself to wander into the outdoors I will be completely present and the worries of everyday life seem to fade. I attribute so much of this to the fact that nature doesn’t care about my troubles, my work or my challenges. She treats me the same as everyone and everything else that comes along. There is something very rewarding about that. Because of this I have spent the better part of my life fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, hunting or just simply sitting outside. When I’m there, I’m present and when I’m present, troubles are not.
It is for these reasons that I started First Descents. I wanted to create an outlet to share the positivity the outdoors brought to my life with others whose troubles were probably far greater than mine and their access to being outside might not be as available as mine. I figured that if nature treated everyone the same and that treatment could provide a place free of troubles then maybe young adults with cancer could really benefit from being out there together.

At the end of the day it’s not always the easiest thing to do- force yourself to leave life as you know it and go outside, but I can say that I have never regretted my decision to go and always come back a happier, healthier, fuller and more present version of myself that I was before I left.
Young adult? Got cancer? Get outside! First Descents has free spots available on a variety of outdoor adventures. Check out or email for more details!


  1. Congradulations on a great project. You hit the nail on the head about NATURE accepting us forcwhpcwe are without judgement. I do hope all who partake in your program do leave their problems behind, if just for a day in our fight against Cancer. LIVESTRONG.

    Comment by Timothy — Feb 16 @ 10:46 am

  2. What an amazing project! I couldn’t agree more that nature makes me feel “happier, healthier, fuller and a more present version of myself.” Keep up the GREAT work!

    Comment by Gwen — Feb 16 @ 12:02 pm

  3. Great post!! It’s an incredible feeling to be surrounded by nature, experiencing the beauty that Nature offers. Everything about nature is so relieving, trouble free, beautiful, peaceful, and most of all unselfish and given without judgement! Nothing more amazing to be free of troubles for some time little to no responsibility but to see what true beauty nature has to offer, and it just keeps giving! We all should be so lucky to have this escape at our fingertips!

    Comment by Anthony — Feb 16 @ 12:03 pm

  4. BRAD!!

    This is why I love you!

    Thank you, and FD, for changing my life.

    xo – Cheesesteak

    Comment by Emily Beck — Feb 16 @ 2:24 pm

  5. Definitely, any outdoor time, any day of the week, any kind of weather is reviving and refreshing for every person. Try it! If you live in a city, try walking at night or very early in the morning. Seeing the stars or an animal that is out at night or early morning is an adventure and also exciting but this time is also a calm time of day for our busy lives. The mission of First Descents is amazing and an opportunity to persue!

    Comment by Lillian — Feb 16 @ 6:05 pm

  6. i love you brad!! you are my hero!!

    Comment by Sprinkles — Feb 16 @ 6:35 pm

  7. Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it’s up to you to take heed.

    Comment by planet nibiru 2012 — Mar 3 @ 4:57 am

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