Posted by: firstdescentsblog | January 21, 2011

12 Small Changes for New Year and Healthier You

Happy New Year everyone!

I wanted to write a brief piece on some simple things that can go a long way in improving our health over time.  Although the list includes 12 things, keep in mind it is probably best to try to do, or incorporate, just one or two things at a time.  This will help to ensure that the change becomes more of a lifestyle, and that you don’t get overwhelmed trying to make too many changes at once.

If you have any questions or would like any advise on any of the steps, feel free to email me anytime at lisa.nielsen@firstdescents.org

Good luck!

1) Increase the amount of water you drink!– Most people don’t drink enough.  Aim for 80 to 100 oz/day.  Ideally try to drink filtered water since many unwanted chemicals are found in most tap water (even in many bottled waters).  To make it even tastier and healthier, add lots of squeezed lemon.  A great way to start the day is with a glass of warm or room temperature water with lemon!

2) Get plenty of sleep at night.- Most people don’t get nearly enough and have no idea how much this can negatively affect your health.  Shoot for 8 hours!

3) Chew your food thoroughly!– This is something most of us do not do well.  Much of our health and immune system start in our gut.  Simple chewing our food well can make a huge difference on the health of our digestion.

4) Decrease or omit sugar, sweets,  and sugary drinks.– This can be difficult because most of us have a sugar addiction that we are not even aware of.  If you crave something sweet often, then you are probably addicted.  Try to cut out all processed sugars for a week or even two and you should find that those sugar cravings disappear.

5) Do something “active” everyday!–  This can be anything from a walk to a rigorous hike or bike ride.  It can even be cleaning the house or doing yard work.  Just stay active and try not to be too sedentary, especially if your job already puts you in that category.

6) Eat more veggies!–  Most of us do not even get the daily recommended amount of vegetables of the course of an entire week.  Think about veggies as your focus when planning a meal.  Then add some whole grains and good proteins and fats around it.  Vegetables are truly the way to health!

7) Decrease processed/refined carbohydrates.– This is similar to #4, but many of us eat way to many breads, crackers, chips, juices, sweets,etc.  Even those that we think are healthy are typically not.  As a society we eat way too many easy carbs because they taste good and are easy to get.  Most of the time they provide very little nutrition, empty calories, and even things that are toxic in our bodies.  Aim for real, whole food rather than food that comes in wrappers and cans!

8) Get plenty of Vitamin D.– Ideally, if we can get it naturally from the sun, this requires about 20 minutes per day of noon time sun on most of the body.  However, going over 20 minutes can put you at risk of burning and skin cancer.  Yet Vitamin D is an important part of keeping our immune system strong.  Therefore sometimes supplementing with Vitamin D3 can help us get there, or better yet, natural food sources such as cod liver oil and wild salmon.

9) Incorporate plenty of healthy fats into your diet.- Don’t be afraid of fat as long as it’s the good stuff.  This means looking for ways to add monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids, such as avocados, walnuts, wild salmon, extra virgin olive oil, virgin unrefined coconut oil, and seeds.  Studies show that people eating a diet high in these types of fats even lose weight because they tend to eat less overall since the fats are more satiating.   And, they have great health benefits, too!

10) Use body care products free of chemicals.– More and more products such as lotions, soap, body wash, shampoo, laundry detergents, and even cleaners are coming out with lines that are paraben free, chemical free, and phthalate free.  Other products to look twice at in regards to the chemicals are toothpaste, deodorant, dry cleaning, bug spray, cookware, plastic left over containers and water bottles, perfumes, and dryer sheets.  For more info on what’s in your shampoo, check out http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/.

11) If eating meat, eggs, and dairy…go organic!– It may be even more important than choosing organic produce.  Most commercial meats, eggs, and milk products are loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals.  If you want more info on this idea, check out the movie Food,Inc.

12) Floss daily!– Truly a simple thing that can go a long way to improve our health and reduce our risk for disease.  The bacteria and chemicals that get into our bloodstream via our gum line is amazing.  Once you start and make it a habit, it’s no different than wanting to brush your teeth each day.

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It’s technically the “off-season” here at First Descents, and the next round of camps is five long  months away.  But while we’re all getting ready to stuff our faces with Thanksgiving turkey and start our holiday shopping, there is a lot going on just below the surface.  When the thought of basking in the summer sunshine on a rock face or on the water seems so remote, it’s wonderful to reflect on what camp means to us and our alum.  This is the time of year when we can take a moment and really consider the tremendous impact First Descents has so many lives.

FD alum Hottiebucks recently took some time to trace the evolution of his own cancer experience and how First Descents altered his outlook.  We thought now would be a good time to share his frank and compelling insights.

I was in my second year of grad school when I couldn’t shake a cold, and my girlfriend at the time dragged me into the doctor. After a lot of lab tests, I was diagnosed with myeloma (also called multiple myeloma).

Myeloma is most commonly diagnosed in older people (less than half a percent of cases are diagnosed under 30, I was 27). It’s a cancer of the blood, specifically immune cells, but the cancerous cells collect in the bone marrow and can cause extensive bone damage. Fortunately, I was diagnosed before this was the case with me.

While there are now (only recently) quite a few options for keeping myeloma at bay for five or ten years, it is considered incurable and the only option that my doctors thought offered a real long-term hope was a fully ablative allogeneic stem cell transplant.

Basically, they wipe out your bone marrow with a huge dose of chemo and then give you someone else’s bone marrow cells (in my case, my sister’s cells). Their cells repopulate your system, and hopefully the transplanted immune system kills, and continues to kill, the cancer. This is done for a lot of cancers but usually only a last resort. It’s very rarely done for myeloma because older patients can’t survive it.

So basically as soon as I was diagnosed I immediately started low-impact chemotherapy to prepare me for the transplant, and six months later moved to Seattle to have the stem cell transplant at one of the few places that had done this type of transplant for myeloma before. Technically, I was enrolled as a student throughout all this, to keep my health insurance, but basically my advisors were kindly covering for me, as I wasn’t going to class, teaching, or doing any real research at that point.

This is where First Descents gets relevant: The stem cell transplant basically went more smoothly than anyone anticipated, but it is a seriously involved, risky process and the doctors tell you to expect your life to be changed forever. In particular, it takes the immune system a very, very long time to rebuild. For me, it involved a month in the hospital, three months in pretty serious isolation in Seattle, and for at least the first year out of the transplant, avoiding crowds and being very careful about not getting sick, not cutting myself, etc. While I was very tired, I exercised through it all and was back to jogging (I loved those Seattle hills!) by about a month after leaving the hospital. I was also pretty happy throughout treatment, although it was sometime unpleasant.

The stem cell transplant mostly mopped up the cancer, but initially it looked like it hadn’t worked and there’s no way of knowing if the cancer was “gone.”  So to this day I remain on a new generation chemo drug. Other than making me tired and occasionally crashing my immune system, it isn’t a bother. I would like to get off of it, but when I went off for a month, there were some signs that I might be relapsing. It’s a small price to pay for not relapsing.

From the start, I basically assumed that I would never be a firefighter again, and maybe never travel in a developing county again. These are the kind of dreams you jettison just to focus on getting better, and partly because it’s what the doctors are telling you to prepare for. The stem cell transplant is a very risky procedure, so the list of rules and limitations, even years later, can be long and serious.

About a year after my transplant, I applied to attend First Descents camp. At that point, I felt tired but good and was very happy. I was back in the swing of things at school and had started working with the fire department again, just driving trucks and doing paperwork.

But I hadn’t gone backpacking or rock-climbing and I was rarely in close proximity to strangers for long if I could help it. And I was pretty apprehensive about doing some of these things. I remember going bouldering with a friend a month before camp, and being unusually scared as visions of being back in the hospital flashed before my eyes. And in many ways, I really was still vulnerable–three weeks before coming to camp, I got a really bad case of swine flu and ended up in the hospital again.

I saw First Descents on a friends’ blog. I had wanted to plan something outdoorsy and challenging for a while, but I worried about planning for medical emergencies and being tired, and worried about slowing down the people I was with. So the idea of kayaking or rock climbing in an environment where my concerns would be understood was liberating. Also, I was pretty broke after treatment, so it being free helped too.

At the same time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go out in the woods and talk about cancer with some complete strangers. Support groups were definitely not my style. But honestly, I didn’t see another way I was going to have a really cool outdoor adventure that summer, so I signed up.

 

Hottiebucks in Jackson, WY, August, 2009

 

Looking back, my camp experience rock-climbing in Jackson Hole, WY gave me several things. For one, thing, it just go me out, doing something adventurous in the woods with a group of strangers, and made me realize that any health concerns were easily manageable and any risks were well worth it.  Until cancer, I had always been pretty adventurous about life, collecting a lot of scars and eating sketchy street food. Cancer forced me to abandon that, and First Descents was the first step in recovering that do-it-all attitude, although I still have to be careful.

I might have come to this in time anyway, but First Descents was a bridge that accelerated the process. Not long after returning from FD, I planned a backpacking trip in Utah with a friend– I’m sure I wouldn’t have done that then without First Descents. It also made me more aggressive about getting back involved with firefighting. A few months ago I took a hoseline into a structure fire for the first time since cancer. It was exhilarating–a huge milestone on a journey back that really started at First Descents.

As a result, while I am careful about my health and treatment, I think First Descents has helped me take risks–judicious risk, but risks–and shift the care for my health/live life balance back in the direction of living life, where I want it to be.

First Descents was also one of the most purely fun experiences I’ve ever had, and the most fun I’d had and most relaxed I’d been since being diagnosed with cancer. It also was the first time I’d spent time in a large group, and met a lot of new people, since starting treatment. So in some ways it felt like a bit of restitution of things I’d missed out on during treatment, and a reminder that I wanted to be open to life and experiences. After treatment ended I felt like I wanted to live every day like it’s my last–all the BS that cancer patients usually spout. This lasted a couple of weeks, until life got back to normal. First Descents reminded me of that live-every-day-to-the-fullest feeling. In a way, it’s like a recharge.

The third thing First Descents gave me was a connection to other cancer survivors that I would have gotten literally no other way. As I said, I’m not a support group type person. But the mix of people at camp was comfortable for me–some of them still severely physically or emotionally affected by cancer, some of them less so, some of them guides or staff or donors who have never had cancer; some of them feel comfortable with “cancer survivor” as an identity, others, like me, fight that identity pretty hard. This mix of wonderful people, they humor that ran through the camp, and the context of an amazing outdoors experience gave me an opportunity to connect, vent, and think with other survivors without feeling like I was wallowing in cancer. The way many of them are living very aggressively, sometimes while facing more daunting health challenges than me, was also inspiring.

This was validated a few months ago. I had a bad test result, and it appeared for a month or two that I was relapsing (I wasn’t). Not wanting to freak out my friends and family, who have endured enough at this point, and fearing they wouldn’t really “get it”, the only person I talked to about it was one of my FD campmates from last year.

 

Hottiebucks in Vail, CO, July, 2010

 

Attending a second camp this year, kayaking in Vail, allowed me to see how much I had progressed. Last year, I felt somewhat physically frail and was apprehensive about being around a group of people (because of my weakened immune system). I also wasn’t sure how much I could talk about cancer with other survivors without it devolving into self-pity. This year I felt strong, ready to kayak as hard as I could, and completely comfortable being part of a group of strangers and talking about what we had all lost and gained. I felt like I was “over” cancer in a way I hadn’t been when I arrived at the first camp, and I owe much of that to my first came experience.

At the same time, First Descents this year was an important pick-me-up. It was a good way to remind myself of goals I had valued and planned on–like spending time or living in a developing country–that I jettisoned during treatment and haven’t yet recovered. In part, this resulted from taking part in kayaking, which was something that I had always wanted to do, and put off during treatment. It also come from meeting other people – campers, staff, guides, safety boaters, reporters, board members – who are living out their different dreams no matter what obstacles are in their way, be they cancer related or not.

It’s a long way from First Descents to taking on major issues and challenges that we face back in the “real world.”  But the attitude that I carry into dealing with that type of problem – that I want to deal with my health issues as a practical problem to be worked around, rather than a wall I can’t see past – was born and strengthened at First Descents.

 

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | November 17, 2010

HE DID IT: RYAN SUTTER COMPLETES HIS 10-10-10 CHALLENGE!!

Ryan and Team FD at the NYC Marathon, 11/7/10

Last weekend, Team First Descents captain Ryan Sutter completed the final event in his six month-long “10-10-10 Challenge,” and achieved his goal of raising $100,000 for the work of FD.  On a sun-drenched Sunday, with Brad Ludden, Ethan Zohn and a crew of spirited FD campers at his side, Ryan took on the New York City Marathon, finishing in VERY respectable 3:20:39.  For Ryan, it was the crowning accomplishment of an unparalleled year of training, challenge and triumph.

It’s impossible for us to express how profoundly we appreciate what Ryan has done to promote and help fund First Descents programming; what he has done this year truly defies description, and the depth of our gratitude is so vast that mere words don’t suffice.  Ryan, from the bottom of our hearts, we love you and are so proud that you have embraced our cause.

The Fire Fighter Combat Challenge, 8/28/10

Just to put Ryan’s achievement into perspective, here is a final summary of each of the events he competed in, along with his finishing times.  Read ’em and weep!

11/7/2010: New York City Marathon, New York, NY (3:20:39)

10/17/2010: Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon, Denver, CO (1:33:14, 162 out of 9139)

10/9/2010: 24 Hours of Moab, Duo Category. Moab, UT (7 laps each, 14th place)

9/12/2010: Nautica Malibu Triathlon, Spt. Distance. Malibu, CA (1:38:26, 47th out of 1524)

9/11/2010:Nautica Malibu Triathlon, Int. Distance. Malibu, CA (2:24:39, 88th out of 1085)

8/28/2010: SCOTT Fire Fighter Combat Challenge, Vail, CO (2 min 33 seconds)

8/14/2010: Leadville 100, Leadville, CO (8:31:05, 65th Overall)

7/25/2010: Ford Ironman Lake Placid, Lake Placid, NY (11:06:37, 351st Overall)

7/17/2010: XTERRA Mountain Championships, Beaver Creek, CO (2:46:03, 3rd in Category)

7/4/2010: Fire Cracker 50 Mtn Bike Race, Breckenridge, CO (4:33:57, 97th Overall)

6/5/2010 & 6/6/2010: Teva Mountain Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge, Vail, CO (2nd Place)

5/31/2010: Bolder Boulder, Boulder, CO (41:36, 852 place out of 50,000 plus)

At the Leadville 100, 8/14/10

We were so fortunate that Ryan, through his friendship with Brad, decided to devote so much time, effort and energy to First Descents.  Here’s Ryan, in his own words, on how FD changed him from his very first contact with our campers:

In April of 2008, I attended the Second Annual First Descents Charity Ball and Fundraiser, while my wife stayed home recovering from a hard pregnancy and the birth of our first child, Max.  It was at that Ball that I first made contact with the “campers” as they are known, the young adults who have attended the First Descents Adventure Camps.  I saw first hand the impact that FD had on their lives.  I listened to the stories they told as they spoke of their exhaustive battles against illness, the effects on their bodies, families, lives and dignity.  I laughed at their jokes and admired their will.  I held back tears as they spoke to the fear of dying and appreciated their courage as they justified their fears in the remembrance of fallen friends.  I left that night affected in ways that I did not anticipate.  I was not discouraged or afraid, depressed or angry.  I was inspired.  I had found a cause that touched my heart.  I wanted to do more.

Ryan, you have done more than you could possibly know.

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | November 15, 2010

Ten Stress Busters

Usually I am writing about nutrition and health or disease prevention.  Today I am going to mention something else that is often very much a part of our lives and hugely related to our health.  Stress!  Stress has been shown time and time again as a leading cause of various diseases, including cancer.  Most of us fail to notice how much it truly plays a role in our health and how much it appears in our lives.  Probably the worst type of stress is the hidden stress, the low level of chronic stress we have on a daily basis.  Our bodies don’t know how to manage this and it eventually takes a toll on our overall health.

If stress were non-existent in our lives, we would all be living pain-free. We’d also go about our days in a much more joyful and
playful manner, not to mention we’d also be happier, healthier, and simply enjoy life better.

Chronic and severe stress can damage your body and mind, blocking the fluid communication to and from most organs – especially in the
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the limbic system, the brain’s emotional center.

There are several easy things we can do to prevent or at least cut down on our stress levels.  After reading the following, I highly recommend to sit down and really evaluate just how much stress is in your life and how important it is to you to work on reducing it.

-Be well!  Googley

(The following was an excerpt from a website called “lose the back pain.com”.)

My Top 10 Easy Stress Busters

 

  1. Laugh More – Research has continually shown that on average, the more a person laughs, the less stressed they are and the longer they live. I recommend looking up clips on Youtube for things that make you laugh, reading comics, watching TV shows which make you giggle, talking to a funny friend, or anything else which helps you laugh more.
  2. Exercise – As you exercise your body releases endorphins, what I like to call “happy chemicals,” because they literally melt stress from your body like magic. And no, you don’t have to grunt and groan in order to shake the stress – although you can if that’s what you like to do!
  3. Meditate – Meditating is one of the most effective long-term stress relievers ever discovered. By slowing your brain waves from a high beta stage down to a low alpha (or even lower if you use a meditation program like Holosync), meditation dissolves stress and reduces pain.
  4. Breathe Deeply – I’d like you to try something for me. As you’re reading this, become aware of your current stress levels. Think hard about exactly how you’re feeling at this moment. Really think hard about how those emotions make you feel (i.e. are you anxious, have tight muscles, stressed, worried, etc.) and then take 10 very slow, very deep breaths and do the same thing. Feel the difference?
  5. Simplify Your Life – Between juggling our family lives, jobs, personal activities and everything else we have going on, sometimes life gets a little crazy. Simplifying your life is much easier than it sounds, and can work wonders. It simply means removing clutter from your house, focusing on 1 task at a time instead of trying to multi-task (which is a huge productivity killer), and getting rid of anything not absolutely necessary.
  6. Drink Green Tea – Green tea is packed with something called “theanine” which increases the brain’s output of relaxation-inducing alpha waves and reduces the output of tension-making beta waves. If you’re a tea drinker I’m sure you’ve noticed the calming effect it has on you – and now you know the science behind it!
  7. Learn To Forgive – Throughout our lives many things happen which cause us to hold grudges against friends, family, co-workers, etc. Every single time you hold a grudge against someone, that grudge places an extra weight on your own mental tension. Just imagine how many grudge (big OR small) you’ve had over the past 10, 20, 30, 50+ years… and think about how much it may be weighing your emotions down. Learn to forgive and you’ll find your emotional stress  begins to slowly fade away into the background.
  8. Write A List Of Everything You’re Thankful For – Research has shown that it’s literally impossible to be stressed about something and be thankful for something at the same time. I suggest setting aside 20 minutes once per week and writing down every single thing you’re grateful for in your life. It works wonders.
  9. Take A “You” Day – Every once in awhile, we all need a day for ourselves. Away from the kids, the husband, the wife, the friends, the TV, work etc. Go take a walk in the woods, or go to the movies by yourself, or go shopping… whatever it is that you love to do!
  10. Eat/Drink Any Of These Foods And Drinks – Blueberries, organic milk, oranges, brown rice, green vegetables, dried apricots, turkey, sweet potatoes and water. Each of these help our bodies release more happy chemicals into the brain – helping reduce stress by simply eating!

Try implementing just 1 of these 10 stress-busters each week over the next 10 weeks. Each week simply add one more and before you know it you’ll find much of your stress left in the past.>

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 29, 2010

CAMPER “COGS” DONATES ONCOLOGY ON CANVAS PRIZE TO FIRST DESCENTS

We love to brag about our alum and their amazing talents – have you noticed??

Most recently, our collective minds were blown when we learned that camper Juliana “Cogs” Carvatt had not only (1) garnered a third-place prize in the Lily Oncology on Canvas Art Competition but (2) donated her $2500 award to First Descents!

According to the Oncology on Canvas press release, “The biennial competition invites residents of the United States and Puerto Rico who have been touched by cancer – patients, family members, friends, caregivers and healthcare providers – to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journeys meaning.  Winners’ prizes consist of donations made in their name to the cancer-related charities of their choice.  Since Lilly created the competition in 2004, more than 3,600 individuals have submitted artwork and narratives.”

Over at her own blog, Cogs has written about the thrill of winning the prize and what it meant to be able to translate her cancer experience into creative expression.  Take a look at the stunning result:

Kudos to Lily for coordinating such a fantastic competition that benefits worthy cancer charities, and congratulations to Cogs!  We are so proud of you and cannot thank you enough for your generosity.

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 29, 2010

HAMMER TIME: ANOTHER CAMPER HEARD FROM

Hammer on the river!

Hammer joined the First Descents family this past summer in Montana, and recently told his incredible story over at his own blog.  Wise beyond his years thanks to his cancer experience, Hammer moved us with his account of his own illness and recovery, and how First Descents impacted him.  Please take a look.  We love you, Hammer!

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 29, 2010

2010 AMG WALK FOR LIFE A HUGE SUCCESS – AGAIN!

This past weekend, over two hundred members of the First Descents family gathered in Lake Needwood Park in Rockville, Maryland to particate in the annual Allan Goldberg Walk for Life.  With Allan’s passing in 2008, First Descents lost not just an Executive Director, but an incredible friend and visionary.  Each year it’s our honor to pay tribute to him as we continue to grow the organization that he loved so much.

As has been the case in years past, it was a gorgeous morning for friends to gather, enjoy the fall air, celebrate Allan’s memory and raise funds for First Descents.  In the end, we raised just short of $15,000!!

A special shout-out to our friends and sponsors at Circa Jewels (scroll down to 10/25 on their blog to see their write-up of the walk!), and many thanks to all who came out.  It’s always a joy to spread some FD love on the East Coast!!

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 27, 2010

ONE SHOE, AWESOME ALUM, KICKS OFF ADAPTIVE SPORTS NON-PROFIT

The evidence of our campers’ endless energy, creativity and drive just keeps pouring in!

First Descents alum Jon “One Shoe” Wilson has started a non-profit called the AKP (“Always Keep Pedaling”) Foundation, whose mission is to “provide young adults with the means to use adaptive sports to assist, inspire, and energize a comeback from physically altering trauma caused by cancer.”  After losing his leg to cancer in 2006, One Shoe has used kayaking, biking, skiing and other adventures to help achieve his own comeback in life.

One Shoe!!

AKP will hand pick recipients in financial need and work closely with them to match the individual with an appropriate adaptive sport or athletic endeavor and help set specific goals.  Applications are available online and are due by November 16th.

To learn more about AKP, check out a video of One Shoe, and learn how you can be part of the cause, visit their site today!

Amazing stuff, One Shoe!  We are so proud to call you one of our own.

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 24, 2010

Incredible Documentaries on Health!

Hi gang! 

Just watched a documentary last night called Food Matters.  It’s great!  I truly feel everyone in this country should be required to see it, really!!

Anyway, I urge you all to check it out.  Here is the general description of the movie as well as a list of other great documentaries on our health!

Food Matters– “With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume.”

Other great documentaries to check out:   Food Inc.,   The Future of Food,    Stress: Portrait of a Killer,     The Beautiful Truth,    Inside the Living Body,  and   Supersize Me

Be well!

Googley

 

Posted by: firstdescentsblog | October 6, 2010

FIRST DESCENTS, FREE VERSE

In a cool bit of Internet whisper-down-the-lane, one of our campers, Knuckles, was so moved by the words and work of another camper, Slam, that he posted her poetry right up on his blog.  Fortunately, the poem ultimately found its way to us.  Slam and Knuckles were together at one of our Colorado kayaking camps over the summer, and it’s clear that the experience made a lasting impression on them both.

Legend has it that Slam spent a good part of her camp experience dazzling her fellow campers with her chops, and then, by request, composed an homage to FD which she shared on the last night in Colorado.

Slam, being Awesome

We are forever amazed by the gifts our young adult survivors possess.  Thanks to Knuckles for highlighting Slam’s beautiful and true words, and huge props to Slam for producing such a stunning tribute.

Here it is

We got off the plane
Note sure what to expect
Would it be a first descent?
Or a first eject

The road was windy
The future unknown
We were truly out of our comfort zone

All survivors
Far and Near
Cancer Crushers
Crushing Fear

With the river in front of us
We were on our way
Ready for
A brand new day

Sway your hips
From side to side
Kayak straight
An’ enjoy the ride

Rock the Rapids
Ride the Waves
Boof the Rocks
Surf and Save

The swift and the quick
Guide that stick
An’ paddle on your way

This river battle
Runs deep and shallow

So get down low
Learn how to roll

Wipe that splash from your face

Wet exit when you need to
All you do is lean in through
There is no such disgrace

Pick up that boat
To return to float
With a smile on your face

Cancer led us to this place
7W greased the wheels
I am not sure why I ended up here
Yet, I’m loving how it feels

When these days come to an end
I will look to see your faces again

All locked in
An eddy flower
Floating on Water
Flying on Power

Row, Row, Row your Boat
That’s all you have to do to stay afloat
Sway Your Hips
From Side to Side
We Rock this River with FD Pride

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