It was hands down the best experience in my cancer journey. Not only were the CfR team professional, caring, sharing and amazing, but it was great to spend time with fellow participants. I left the experience with new friends. How amazing is it to show up with only your toothbrush and everything else is handled? Fantastic. I'm so grateful.
In 2015 I attended a CfR weekend that exceeded my expectations. I originally applied as I have been a fisherman all my life, but never had tried fly fishing, and wasn't sure I even wanted to learn to fly fish or would gain a whole lot from this weekend adventure. I had a large group of supporters already and didn't think I would gain anything.
I am so glad I went and found it far more than just another support group. It was like finding another branch of a family. Everyone was helpful and interested in what I had to say and how I was doing. The leaders also cared about the technic I was using as I learned to cast (totally different from the fishing I had done in the past). I am still telling everyone and anyone that will listen about the "great" weekend I had at CfR and have found another discipline of fishing I enjoy. I really believe that this program deserves the platinum nonprofit status it has and should continue to have to be able to benefit all and anyone that choses to participate in the adventure. Karla B.
I was so scared to go to this retreat but I had heard how helpful and fun it was, so I went. I carpooled with 4 others, I had the opportunity to get to know these ladies and met more as well. They all taught me so much about cancer, learning how to cope, and just knowing we all had something in common, well it meant more to me and I'll never forget that weekend. The fishing was pretty cool, it got all of us a chance to learn something, I would've never learned and got some laughs out of it, plus meeting great fishing teacher's who really cared about each and everyone of us. It's the best experience, especially when going through something so incredibly scary. I am beyond grateful!
I attended the CfR retreat last September and thought it was fantastic. It was not only learning to fly cast but also to reach down inside ourselves and heal with all the group sessions we had. It was much more than I had heard and was very impressed. I gained 13 new friends and have become close to one in particular. It helped all of us to know others who have been through the same journey, who are dealing with the same problems, and who are healing faster because of this retreat. I feel this is a great service to those of us who have had breast cancer and should be continued. I liked it so much that i am planning on volunteering wherever I can to help those like me who come to CfR retreats. The volunteers who led our retreat were so caring and helpful that I thought I would like to become one of them, too. By the way, the fly fishing bug bit me hard, and I am working on becoming a good fly fisherman! May you serve many, many women in the future by continuing CfR retreats!
I've been a "river helper" for the Southern Oregon CfR retreat for several years. I've made great lasting friendships through the program, with the women I have helped and with other volunteers. I've gotten so much positive feedback from the participants and I know CfR has given so many women a learning and supportive opportunity that is unique and priceless. I joined CfR because I love to share my love of fly-fishing but also because my sister died of breast cancer. She would have been absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn to fish and to bond with other breast cancer survivors. Volunteering for CfR is a major part of my "giving back" to my community and I cherish my experience and friendships.
I was granted an opportunity to attend a Southern Oregon retreat in 2008. My diagnosis and treatments were during 2007. I was very ready to embark on the journey to find joy and learn that there can be a good life after being diagnosed. When I arrived at Big K Ranch I was welcomed warmly and enthusiastically. The coordinators helped me get settled and I was made to feel very comfortable. It was a few days of crying, laughing, learning, and having a wonderful time in nature. During the course of our time together, I made good friends which I still have today. And, because there are past participant events, I've made some truly deep connections. Since my attendance, I have continued to participate, as an active volunteer. CfR remains an essential part of my life. I describe the CfR Retreat gathering as "the most memorable and impactful experience of my life".
Casting for Recovery (southern Oregon) is a wonderful program! When I went through treatment for breast cancer in 2008 I had pretty good support, but so many women don't get the kind of (non-medical) help that can be so valuable to survivors. When I attended the Casting for Recovery program in 2012 it was such an amazing group, both staff/volunteers and participants! Women in all stages of treatment, survivorship, and late stage in a relaxed setting supported by a caring, knowledgeable, and loving staff were able to open up our hearts and share what each of us needed at whatever place we were at the time. The fly fishing activities provided enough structure to tie all that caring together, and we got to spend the weekend in a beautiful setting that I would otherwise never have been able to experience.
A year after I had stage 3 breast and both breasts removed and 15 lymph nodes taken out, finished 5 1/2 months of chemo and 30 radiation treatments, I was fortunate to be selected to participate in Oregon's Casting for Recovery weekend.
I am not a "group person" so did not expect it to be such a remarkable experience but it was. The sessions, the support, the honesty and the caring that were present in those 2 days helped me so much.
Breast cancer (well probably any cancer) is a life changing experience. You never quite trust your body again but the support and caring and opportunities that I experienced that weekend 6 years ago still remains with me.
This opportunity is critical for those of us who have breast cancer. It should continue and grow so that more women are helped on this journey.
Breast cancer is a disease whose treatment ravages not just your body, but also your spirit. Casting for Recovery provides a supportive environment to learn a skill that helps to bring you peace. The beauty of the outdoors, the focus required to cast, the comradary of the group, and the shear joy those bring are a treatment for your damaged spirit.
I began my journey with Casting for Recovery 14 years ago. Our small group of friends got together to fly fish for several days. My friend brought up a great program she had read about, CfR, and an idea was born. We knew it was a natural fit for all of us! Each of us had been touched by breast cancer in some way and we all loved fly fishing. We raised money and brought Casting for Recovery to Oregon for the very first time. We had so much success and fun that our retreat has continued each year since then. This fall we will hold our 14th retreat!
I've have found every retreat to be as unique as the 14 women involved. Each brings their own story to share and walks away with a support group that lasts a lifetime. It is so much more than the fishing. That is the catalyst that brings us all together. The sisterhood and friendships that develop is what makes it extra special. I've seen women 15+ years out from treatment engage in conversation with those newly diagnosed. I've seen those in their senior years sharing fears and successes with those in their thirties. Every woman has a special story and most haven't had the opportunity to share with another that has walked the same path.
Every single retreat...every one...the women highly recommended that others on this journey should attend their own retreat. That is a powerful testament to the importance of Casting for Recovery. Addressing the well-being of survivors can often be overlooked. This amazing program puts them first.
I am proud to say I was on the team that brought CfR to Oregon. I love how it has grown and that past participants now run most of our retreat and fundraising events. It's a perfect example of paying it forward!
I started volunteering for this organization 7 years ago. I thought it would be good to be on the river with women who needed the therapy of a few days of fishing. Doctors agree that fly fishing also has certain physiological benefits to the upper body that can help breast cancer patients and survivors move more freely and break down scar tissue. Then, of course, there are the mental and spiritual benefits for those who have been affected by breast cancer, able to hear from experts and spend time with other women who have shared the trauma of the experience. I felt privileged to be in their presence at retreats, grateful that I hadn't been through the experience myself but happy I could be of service.
Then it happened to me.
I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 2011, and had a lumpectomy (including lymph node removal) and radiation. To say that I had a built-in team of trusted advisors in the staff and volunteers of Casting for Recovery would be understating the enormous impact this organization has on its community. I got advice, referrals, coaching, and support from women I'd volunteered with, and some I'd never met.
I volunteer with other charities, but will always be impressed with CFR's capacity to create and sustain a community of women who educate, support, and help one another through (and after) one of life's most difficult ordeals. Oh, and they can cast a mean line, too!