Gilead Sciences Receives Horizon Line Award for Leadership Support of First Descents’ Oncology Programming and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts

April 5, 2023

Denver, Colorado, April 5, 2023 /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Gilead Sciences has been awarded First Descents’ most distinguished honor, the Horizon Line Award. Each year, this award is presented to an individual or organization who selflessly dedicates their time, guidance, and wisdom to First Descents without asking for anything in return.

While kayaking over a horizon line or making a first descent is often a solo endeavor, experienced paddlers rely on one another for motivation and support. Whether scouting a line or pitching a throw rope, success in kayaking requires that you have a solid team in place. First Descents has seen many rapids, each preceded by a horizon line, and each with one thing in common: the support of generous and selfless partners like Gilead who help us paddle toward success.

Gilead, a leader in biopharmaceuticals, is fully committed to patient advocacy which allows organizations like First Descents to look beyond the immediacy of today’s challenges and explore solutions that will transform the future of healthcare.

Since 2017, Gilead has been a steadfast supporter of First Descents, helping underwrite core programs, making invaluable introductions to healthcare centers and advocacy organizations, and advancing First Descents’ mission and initiatives to not only reach more patients, but to ensure equitable access to psychosocial supportive care.

In demonstration of this commitment, Gilead has announced a transformative gift that will advance First Descents’ Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work in the year ahead. With this support, First Descents continue to examine every aspect of the organization through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and implement practices that align with these values.

“Support from Gilead has enabled First Descents to build partnerships with leading BIPOC and LGBTQ patient advocacy groups, as well as hospitals and clinics serving diverse patient populations,” said Ryan O’Donoghue, CEO. “It’s terrific to work with a partner that shares our commitment to addressing systemic barriers to psychosocial care and transformative outdoor recreation.”

Gilead’s involvement validates the ability of non-medical interventions to complement clinical care. Together, we will continue to further the reach of our mission and courageously pursue our next Horizon Line.



Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, inflammation and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.


First Descents (FD) is a leader in adventure-based healing. Through outdoor adventure, community building, and lifestyle development, FD improves long-term survivorship and quality of life for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions. Headquartered in Denver, First Descents has served more than 10,000 participants over the last 20 years. Beginning in 2020, First Descents launched programs for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. All services are fully-adaptive and free of charge. A Guidestar Platinum-ranked nonprofit, First Descents has been recognized on CNN Heroes and Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work.

CONTACT: Becca Rohrer

Senior Marketing Manager