He's a world-class kayaker, and a wonderful person.
You see, Brad uses his passion for the sport to help young adults with cancer.
Brad started a program in 2001 called First Descents, a nonprofit that provides free outdoor adventures for adults ages 18 to 39 battling the disease.
He did this because of the time he went though his aunt being diagnose with breast cancer when he was only 12.
Here's what he said:
"That was the first time cancer had become very personal to our family. Seeing someone you love go through this disease really changes the way you view it. Seeing how few resources were available to her as a young adult made me realize that there was a tremendous need there."
So to help, he decided to use kayaking as a tool — just to show these young people they could be stronger than their cancer.
Since 2001, the program has expanded to 13 employees and now includes rock climbing, mountaineering and surfing — with 50 programs throughout North America, Central America and South America.
"Cancer, especially as a young adult, can really send someone into isolation. They come to these programs and often for the first time since their diagnosis they meet someone else their age with cancer. They can have conversations about cancer that they couldn't have before. They start to regain a lot of trust in themselves and a lot of confidence in their bodies.
"The participants every day inspire me. Every day I live differently because I've met them. You only live once, and you don't live for long. These guys remind you to get after it."
More things like this need to exist, and we hope his company continues to grow.
On the flip side, it would be nice to never need this program… meaning that we hope some day cancer is eradicated.
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