Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Casting for Recovery is a national non-profit support and educational program for women who have or have had breast cancer.
We provide an opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by the disease to gather in a beautiful, natural setting and learn fly-fishing, "a sport for life." Just as importantly, we offer an opportunity to meet new friends and have fun.
Our weekend retreats incorporate counseling, educational services and the sport of fly-fishing to promote mental and physical healing.
Founded in 1996, Casting for Recovery has been offering free retreats across the country. We rely on local volunteers and organizations to support our community based retreats.
The retreats provide an avenue for social support and group interactions, reducing the feeling of isolation many survivors might have.
The dynamics of fly fishing provide a healing connection to the natural world, relieving everyday stressors and promoting a sense of calm.
Fly fishing techniques provide a gentle exercise for joint and soft tissue mobility.
The retreats offer a forum for women with similar experiences to meet, learn a new skill and gain a respite from their everyday concerns.
Casting for Recovery provides weekend retreats at no cost to the participants including lodging, meals and professional instruction.
Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to attend a retreat (with medical clearance from their physicians).
Trained facilitators staff each retreat including: a psychotherapist, a health care professional (e.g. physical therapist, nurse), and four fly fishing instructors.
Volunteers and organizations from each community are involved in the retreat.
Guidelines are used to maintain the quality and consistency of retreats.
Participants learn the fundamentals of fly casting, entomology, knot-tying, equipment basics - but most importantly, participants spend time on the water practicing catch-and-release fishing.
Counseling and medical information is available throughout the weekend, including an evening group session on Saturday nights.
Educational resources are available, such as fly fishing opportunities and breast cancer information.
Women are encouraged to participate at their own level of comfort.