First Descents Program

Kendall and I had an amazing few days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with First Descents. Kendall and I arrived the evening before so we could go sight seeing and we were able to visit Teton Nat’l Park and Yellowstone. The first day, the FD team got us outfitted and then we traveled to a lake to practice our maneuvers. The wet exit was our favorite where they would turn you over and count to five until we could undo ourselves from the kayak and return to the surface.  Sounds easy, but the water is a little bit chilly and it takes your breath, but it’s a skill you must have for when it turns over in the rapids and you are upside down. The next day we paddled 9 miles on the Snake River and even after turning over, Kendall would climb back in and start paddling. The majority of us would roll our kayak over that day. The next morning we changed our kayaks for a rubber ducky which is a rubber version of the kayak. We would go another 9 miles, but this day we tackled more difficult class 3-4 rapids. Kendall met this incredible 26 year old survivor who is a previous FD participant who has also battled cancer as a young adult. They have formed this incredible friendship, almost sister like, and are planning to stay in touch so she can help Kendall get through her treatments. It’s comforting to know others have done this and been successful and can be a support system during and after treatment. We are so blessed to have met Christina from Boston. Please check out First Descents website and spread the word about how amazing their program is. Thanks to Mr. Brad Ludden for your vision to help cancer patients with these outdoor programs. Also, thanks to my company Genentech for partnering with FD and sending Kendall and I on this amazing trip. Kendall, you continue to smile and brighten our lives, hang in there, you can do this.

Love, Dad, Mom, Connor and all of Team Kendall!

Check out the Jackson Hole pictures!


  1. Kathy Jones says:

    Way to go Kendall, there is no way I could have done that. Keep on Keeping on girl…

  2. Sharon Glenn says:

    Kendall, So glad you and your dad had this awsome trip. Keep smiling. You are truly an inspiration to me every time I read these posts.

  3. Ken Phillips says:

    Nice to hear,and appreciate the updates so much:)Kendall and family are always in our thoughts here in Hokie Nation!

  4. Ella&Emma says:

    So glad to hear you are having a great time! Keep on fighting!
    Love You!

  5. GiGi says:

    Kendall! GiGi said to tell you that you were the prettiest girl in Wyoming! (I do believe he’s partial.) Ha. But, really you are. Hope to see you VERY soon. We love you bunches and bunches. GiGi and Renee

  6. Susan Powell says:

    It was so exciting to read about your experience in Jackson Hole! You look like a natural in the kayak (such a trooper!) and could take on anything. You go girl! My love, prayers, and thoughts are with you every day. I guess those rapids you went through are similar to life–lots of ups and downs and sometimes it’s scary, but you proved that you can go through the tough part and keep smiling because the smoother waters are coming. Glad you met some fellow cancer fighters who can be a resource and inspiration to you. They will help bring encouragement and support in a new way.


    Mrs. Powell

  7. Al Wilmer says:

    WOW! Kendall, what a challenging experience! Faith and fate continue to embrace you–with the meeting of Christina and the encouragement and inspiration she will pass on to you. Best wishes for continued success iin reaching your goal. Prayers and blessings, Al

  8. Linda R Driscoll says:

    Hey Kendall, just talked to your dad and found out about the canoeing trip. Wow that must have been fun fun fun!!!
    Thinking about ya, Linda and Larry

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