What is Casting for Recovery?
This information from CFR Executive Director Sherrie Feickert
(Posted December 2009)
"We have all been touched by breast cancer, through a family member, a friend or just someone we know. Those of us who fly fish know how the world of fly fishing can provide peace and solitude, the chance to be in the moment and an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature. Imagine putting the two together. Casting for Recovery has.
"Casting for Recovery, a national non-profit support and educational program for people of all ages and at all stages of breast cancer, provides retreats at no cost to participants, which allow those whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather in a beautiful, natural setting and learn to fly fish. The retreats incorporate counseling, educational services and the sport of fly fishing to promote mental and physical healing.
"Each Casting for Recovery retreat accommodates 14 participants who apply and are selected through a random draw and immerses them in the world of fly fishing for two-and-a-half days. They learn to cast, tie the basic knots and all about the bugs . . . “What Fish Eat”. On the last day of the retreat, the participants are in the water practicing catch and release fishing assisted by CFR staff and volunteers from local fly fishing clubs. Many of the participants have never picked up a rod in their life but go on to become active in the sport or become volunteers for the Casting for Recovery program. US statistics show about 30 percent of participants will go on to take up the sport.
"Retreats are staffed by trained volunteers. There are fly fishing instructors, as well as professional medical and psychosocial volunteers who provide education and support at the retreat. The retreats are held in the Rotorua area, and participants only need to get to the location. Once there, they are outfitted with fly fishing gear from head to toe which they use while at the retreat.
"The concept was started by a reconstructive surgeon and a fly fishing guide; Casting for Recovery was founded in the USA in 1996. Since the program is offered at no cost to the participants, CFR relies on the generosity of individual donors, foundation grants, companies and organizations.
"The inaugural NZ programme will be held in Rotorua February 12-14 2010 and the team sees this programme being offered in the future in both islands. Applications have closed for this retreat but Casting for Recovery will accept applications for 2011 – please contact us for more information (see below for website link).
"Casting for Recovery needs additional funding not only to sustain its current program but to fund expansion to meet the need. While CFR receives support from various sources, the majority of funding comes from individuals whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, who know the value of the program, and agree with Casting for Recovery that 'To Fish Is To Hope'."
You can find out more about Casting for Recovery by visiting their website and click this link to a recent article that featured in the North Shore Times about Casting for Recovery.
The New Zealand branch was launched with a letter of support from Prime Minister John Key, who is a keen fly fisherman.
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