When you go fishing, you always hope to reel in the big one. For some women who go fishing, they reel in something even bigger: hope.
Casting for Recovery provides no-cost fly fishing retreats to women with breast cancer. These weekend trips combine breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. By offering a reprieve from the stresses and challenges of cancer, Casting for Recovery creates a relaxed environment where women can connect, vent and ask questions to the medical staff that they don’t feel comfortable asking in a clinical setting.
“I had never participated in any support group during my cancer journey until Casting for Recovery,” said Erika Michanowicz, a breast cancer survivor. “I found the retreat weekend to be so encouraging and uplifting during a very scary time in my life. Not only did I find a new hobby in fly-fishing, but I connected with an amazing group of strong women who provided me with such hope and inspiration.”
Casting for Recovery is a national program, started 21 years ago by a fly fishing guide and a breast cancer surgeon who were fishing together. They realized that the gentle motion of fly fishing would help with the physical recovery from breast cancer, and being in nature would help with the emotional recovery. The organization has served more than 8,000 women, including Terri Way, a participant and current volunteer: “Much to the surprise of many people who knew me before I had cancer, I continue to fish. I am taken right back to the place of calmness and relaxation.”