First Descents Teams up with Backbone Media


Denver (September 16, 2013) — First Descents, a non-profit organization providing outdoor adventure programs for young adults with cancer, has partnered with active lifestyle agency, Backbone Media. As First Descents continues to add programming and expand its reach, Backbone will direct the organization’s public relations strategy.

FD OLI black version 3 sm

Founded by pro kayaker Brad Ludden in 2001, First Descents offers surfing, kayaking and rock climbing programs to adults surviving and fighting cancer. First Descents programs are offered in epic locations across the U.S, as well as Patagonia, Bali, Peru, Vietnam and Costa Rica. FD programs range anywhere from two days to one week and are open to any cancer fighter (age 18-39) regardless of physical challenges, diagnosis or prognosis. Approximately 500 participants have attended an FD program this year so far. Most programs are offered completely free of charge and are staffed by volunteers.

“I was a founding board member at First Descents,” says Backbone Media partner and PR director, Ian Anderson. “Helping the organization get off the ground and grow during its first few years remains one of my proudest achievements. I’m really excited to once again be working with the FD family and helping them to improve the lives of more cancer patients around the world.”

Beyond the series of FD week-long program offerings for cancer fighters and survivors, the organization also offers programs for cancer caregivers and one 40+ program per year. First Descents also partners with cancer centers across the nation on weekend programming, and is currently launching a series of urban support communities in major cities across the country called “Tributaries”. For more information on all First Descents programming, or how to get involved, head to


About First Descents

First Descents is a non-profit organization offering young adults with cancer a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.

About Backbone Media

Backbone Media is a public relations, media planning and buying, and social media agency that partners with brands to target, engage and inspire the active lifestyle market. For over 15 years, Backbone has worked with leading outdoor gear, apparel, technology, food and beverage brands, as well as tourism destinations around the world. Backbone has offices in Carbondale and Denver, Colorado, and Jackson, Wyoming.


FD OLI black version 3 sm

First Descents Names Ryan O’Donoghue as Executive Director

Denver, Colo. (November 6, 2013) First Descents, a non-profit providing outdoor adventure programs for adults with cancer, announces Ryan O'Donoghue as the organization’s new executive director. Prior to joining First Descents, O'Donoghue worked in development at the more

FD OLI black version 3 sm

First Descents Partners with KIND Healthy Snacks

Denver, Colo. (March 13, 2014) – First Descents, a non-profit that provides adventure programming for young adults with cancer, is excited to announce its partnership with KIND Healthy Snacks. As an official snack sponsor of First Descents, KIND will provide nutritional snacks to more


First Descents Launches Print Magazine

DENVER, Colo. (April 22, 2015) – First Descents, a non-profit that provides life-changing outdoor adventure programs for young adults impacted by cancer, is excited to launch the first edition of Out Living It magazine, a new publication that focuses on living life to the more


Pro Surfer Lakey Peterson Joins the First Descents Ambassador Team

DENVER, Colo. (January 13, 2015) – First Descents, a non-profit that provides life-changing outdoor adventure programming for young adults impacted by cancer, expands its Ambassador Team with the addition of pro surfer Lakey Peterson. Peterson, who was already surfing more

FD OLI black version 3 sm

Polartec Partners with First Descents to present Out Living It Contest for College Students

Denver, Colo. – Polartec and First Descents, a non-profit that provides free outdoor adventure programs for young adults (ages 18-39) fighting cancer, have teamed up to launch the Out Living It Contest. The program challenges college students across the country to organize more


FIRST DESCENTS teams up with NoRep Boardshorts

Denver, CO—July 10, 2013—FIRST DESCENTS, a Denver-based non-profit organization providing free outdoor adventure therapy for young adults with cancer, is pleased to announce a partnership with the Hawaii-based company, NoRep Boardshorts. NoRep will design and create custom more

Stove Pic Complete July 2014

Stower Signs Backbone Media for PR

San Francisco, Calif. (December 22, 2014) – Stower™, a company dedicated to alternative energy technology and maker of the FlameStower FireCharger, has named Backbone Media as its PR agency of record. Backbone will manage public relations outreach and strategic communications for more


Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Taps Backbone Media for PR

Wheat Ridge, Colo. (July 16, 2014) – Pat’s Backcountry Beverages, leaders in environmentally-responsible craft beer and natural soda concentrates, has named active lifestyle agency Backbone Media to manage its public relations as the brand continues its rapid growth into new more


Haibike Saddles Up with Backbone Media

Simi Valley, Calif. (February 24, 2016) – Haibike, the pioneering German electric bike brand, has chosen leading active-lifestyle agency Backbone Media as its U.S. public relations agency of record. Haibike is the winner of the inaugural Interbike e-bike of the year award as well more