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Casting for Recovery

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Counseling, Health, Health Care, Mental Health

Mission: The mission of Casting for Recovery (CfR) is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to women of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery for breast cancer, and are free to participants.

Results: Since our founding in 1998, we have conducted more than 600 retreats serving close to 8,000 women across the nation. We currently offer 55 annual retreats in 42 states. Post-retreat evaluations show that after attending a Casting for Recovery retreat: 100% felt it was a worthwhile experience 99% would recommend the program to others 98% felt connected with other participants 95% gained a new support base with new friends 92% felt better able to cope with their situation 91% felt more aware and accepting of themselves 91% learned something new about living with breast cancer.

Target demographics: Any woman who has received a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 600 breast cancer survivors at our retreats and many more through alumnae activities and events.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Healing retreats that combine breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. CfR retreats offer women respite from the challenges of living with a breast cancer diagnosis, and an opportunity to gain renewed confidence and connect with other women - all at no cost to the participants. Why fly fishing? The casting motion of fly fishing is similar to exercises physicians prescribe for women following surgery or radiation for breast cancer, thus promoting soft tissue stretching.

Community Stories

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Casting for recovery was a great retreat and full of wonderful healing for the body,mind and soul. Getting outdoors and connecting with not only nature but women that have gone through or are in the journey of breast cancer. New friends, sharing,laughng, and cryng with each other plenty of hugging and sending love. Letting everyone know that no matter where you are on your journey we are here for you strong and ready to fight. Putting your fears on the end of that fly rod and casting it in to the river and letting go!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had been a 10 year survivor the year I attending the CFR retreat in VT. What a great experience even though I am still learning the fly fishing technique. Just listening to the other participants share their stories made me look back at my breast cancer experience making me feel so blessed to be alive. I met some wonderful people at the retreat and now try to help in anyway I can so others may have the same experience.
CFR really made me feel that they care for everyone and did their best to make sure we all had a great time. This year I will be going fly fishing with my son. Thanks to CFR for great memories that will last forever!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a river helper for Casting for Recovery for all of the retreats held in Georgia. Some may argue that I am simply a “captive volunteer”, as my wife, Beverly, is the Georgia Program Coordinator, but that is not the case. Beverly is a breast cancer survivor and attended a North Carolina retreat in 2004. She has volunteered for the program ever since that date and I have witnessed the tremendous benefit she has experienced from her involvement. It has enriched her life and I simply want to do all that I can to help. CFR attracts some remarkable volunteers and in our travels and in working with the program I have been impressed with those I have met. The majority of my volunteer time is spent assisting Beverly with getting the word out about the program, with fund raising events and also attending fly fishing shows and events on behalf of the Georgia program. By far the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is seeing the brave women at the retreat while they are fishing and as a river helper, that more than justifies the time I devote to helping.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a river helper for Casting for Recovery for all of the retreats held in Georgia. Some may argue that I am simply a “captive volunteer”, as my wife, Beverly, is the Georgia Program Coordinator, but that is not the case. Beverly is a breast cancer survivor and attended a North Carolina retreat in 2004. She has volunteered for the program ever since that date and I have witnessed the tremendous benefit she has experienced from her involvement. It has enriched her life and I simply want to do all that I can to help. CfR attracts some remarkable volunteers and in our travels and in working with the program I have been impressed with those I have met. The majority of my volunteer time is spent assisting Beverly with getting the word out about the program, with fund raising events and also attending fly fishing shows and events on behalf of the Georgia program. By far the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is seeing the brave women at the retreat while they are fishing and as a river helper, that more than justifies the time I devote to helping.

Lamar Booth

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a medical facilitator with CFR for several years now . I feel so honored to be apart of this amazing effort to support women during their journey through breast cancer. I ALWAYS leave with much more than I give. CFR makes such an impact with the participants who attend these retreats across the country. I'm hoping for many more!

Joselyn H. W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 3b breast cancer. After surgery, chemo, radiation, hair loss, and much more I was not the same woman as before the diagnosis. Luckily, I discovered CfR on the Susan G. Komen website and just kept digging. I was looking for something to bring "me" back. I had a fantastic support group during my treatment but afterwards I was feeling that I was supposed to be "over it". Well, you are never over it once you've had cancer. As you all have read, it is a life changing/recovery of oneself weekend! So healing. So life altering in a fantastic way. I asked to be included as a volunteer the next year and was given the honor of a position. Being a seamstress, the actual goodie bags they had that year were not up to my standards. The contents were amazing, but the bag was lacking. So I volunteered to make bags the next year and now I am on my 4th year as the bag lady and volunteer! As I sew each of the 14 bags I think of my journey and the ladies who will receive this bag full of love and hope. Now in January I begin the countdown to the CfR weekend with the Central/West TN gals! This nonprofit is the finest experience I have ever been affiliated with! It is a labor of love all year long preparing and executing the program. But so fulfilling for all on Sunday!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended last spring. I’m four years post bilateral mastectomy From breast cancer. The fishing was great. But the emotional support and sisterhood was AMAZING! This weekend was so healing, Fisher woman or not! Every breast cancer patient should try to attend!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve seen first hand the benefits this organization provides for women. I had the pleasure of spending some time with a survivor,and now, avid angler. She speaks nothing but blessing about this organization. It’s gives adventure, community, and hope. That’s the gift CFR provides. I’m glad to know what this organization is all about and to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This will be my 10th year participating in CFR. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than sharing the love with others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breast Cancer cuts through ethnicity, cultural differences, and age as does Casting for Recovery. Through a CFR retreat, I was connected with other women who intimately and immediately knew what I had endured during my lengthy breast cancer treatment. In “the knowing” there was emotional healing as we talked through changes we now must live with after treatment. We shared and laughed at the silly stories and misadventures that occurred in a safe haven with counselors and medical staff available when support was needed. I realized that I was not alone; it was not just “about me”. I discovered role models encouraging acceptance and taking charge of who I am now. I saw other survivors enjoy life, laugh while learning to fly fish (something new that keeps me stretching), reach out, and encourage. In just one weekend I experienced a high quality, joyful life, despite cancer, and I realized it was time to begin again.

The beauty of the Absaroka Mountains and the retreat’s distance from everyday life offered the opportunity for spiritual growth, as well. Pampered in a comfortable cabin, with wonderful meals served during open conversation with knowledgeable and compassionate staff, and new “sisters”, was a needed difference from home. There was time and space, just for me, to come to terms with my physical and emotional journey, to be wrapped in peace and find courage to begin again when I left the retreat.

Now, as a support staff member, I continue to be part of creating the CFR retreat opportunity for breast cancer sisters yet to come. I am part of helping gals take a break in their breast cancer journey to learn to fly fish (and laugh a little), to stretch physically and mentally, and perhaps, to lend an ear as someone who intimately knows what they’re going through. Casting for Recovery gives me a place to reach out to others with hope and encouragement to make a new beginning after breast cancer.
With heartfelt thanks,
Mary Roberson

Andi B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit that changes the lives. I am a volunteer with CFR for the past 8 years. I have seen women who are isolated in their breast cancer experience renew their zest and hope. The organization is highly dependent on trained, dedicated volunteers and donations to in order to be able to offer the retreats for no cost to participants.
It's amazing!

Monica H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful opportunity of being selected as a participate in the all-expense paid weekend retreat with Casting For Recovery in May 2016, North Fork Ranch, CO. The accommodations at the North Fork Ranch are 5 star. The Casting For Recovery Staff were well prepared for the 14 participants starting at our arrival on Friday through our last day on Sunday fishing on the river. During the weekend I was taught how to fly fish; including knot tying, casting, basic fish anatomy and the life cycle of bugs - all hands on and with visuals. The health and wellness sessions were equally enlightening and allowed participants to share at their own comfort level.

I am now a fly fisher and a fly tier. Getting out on the water allows me to be at peace and renew my spirit.

Casting for Recovery changed my life!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most rewarding volunteering I have been involved with. So many women helped at a dark time in their lives. Watching their excitement and positive outlook gives me more than anything I can imagine. Now having breast cancer myself, I look to give even more.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am thankful to have the privilege to volunteer with this wonderful organization. My hope is that we will continue to grow and offer more women the opportunity to participate. Words fail me when I try to describe what these weekends mean to both participants and volunteers. It is live changing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a participant in a Casting for Recovery retreat last year. What a wonderful experience!! The organizers and volunteers were amazing --- so welcoming and so well organized. It was wonderful to meet and share with other women who have been through similar diagnoses and treatments. I loved being able to do something active, outside enjoying nature, that also was beneficial for post-breast cancer surgery. The retreat location was beautiful and perfect for us novice fly fisherwomen, and our volunteer guides were the best. I am thrilled to have made a lot of new friends and an interest in a new hobby!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a former participant and I still reflect fondly upon my CfR experience. As a young and urban woman, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy fly fishing but as it turned out, it was the rare thing that got my mind off of the whole cancer journey. I was able to live in the moment and enjoy it. Reconnecting with nature also helped me find some peace. I was touched by the fact that all the staff and volunteers seemed genuinely interested in making sure I had a great time. I'm so thankful for CfR!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a long-time volunteer, I continue to be amazed at the wonderful ladies who join us at our retreats. The sharing, laughing, and support everyone enjoys truly makes a difference in their lives “after cancer”. Oh, and the fishing is a lot of fun too! Helping a person catch her first fish on a fly has to be experienced to be believed. The lady catching the fish sqeals in delight, and then the lady next her joins in, and then the next, until the whole river is filled with happy noise.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a breast cancer survivor in the midst of surgeries, this retreat not only helped me meet another younger woman with breast cancer, but others who had similar treatment. The organizers took care to match roommates who were similar. I loved mine! (We are so opposite, yet so, so much alike! The fishing itself was therapeutic and transported me out of my cancer world. I came home feeling more energized, hopeful, and did not feel like I was the only survivor like me. Our weekend cohort still keeps in touch. It is wonderful to have a bond that isn't just cancer! If you can, GO! (Or donate!!!) 2017 Alumna

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a participant attending the 2017 Upstate NY Retreat held at Tailwater Lodge. This retreat has been a life changing experience for me! Not only did I leave the retreat with a love of fly fishing but I left with HOPE to live beyond my breast cancer diagnosis. It's extremely powerful when you group 14 women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis- and are at various points in their treatment, recovery or living beyond the disease. The commonality of the breast cancer immediately connects each participant and these women quickly become your friends and family. This retreat provides you support both emotionally and physically with laughter, good company, great fishing and a few tears when it's time to go home. To say it was one of the best weekends of my life is an understatement! My involvement with CfR has continued as an Outreach Volunteer in my area to bring awareness of the program to others affected by the disease. Casting for Recovery is a top notch organization and I consider myself lucky to have been a participant and love the fact I can give back as a volunteer.

1 Lynnette G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is for all women who experience Breast Cancer. I absolutely love what this organization has done for me.

1 Kelly R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Life Changing. I first heard these words the afternoon I arrived to be fitted with waders, boots, vest, rod and reel. I thought it somewhat grandiose at the time. My story begins with breast cancer. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, my surgery was bilateral mastectomy in 2012, followed by an intense five year effort to ignore anything pink or anything dealing with breast cancer. I ignored dealing with the impacts of cancer. Denial, head in the sand, ostrich mode. I didn't really want to address the mental impacts after so much physical change imposed on my body after the surgeries. I held fast to moving beyond cancer. I suppressed the emotions I felt around the changes cancer brought to my body and mind. My husband came home with information about Cfr after hearing another Volunteer from Cfr speak of her experiences as a River Guide. He suggested I apply for the retreat. I initially postponed the idea of attending. To attend would mean admitting to the community around me that I survived cancer. I wanted to leave all things cancer behind me, forever. The niggling to apply kept bubbling up. Heck, it's just fishing, right? Attending the retreat left me feeling the most spoiled and pampered I've ever felt in my fifty plus years of life. It's been awhile since I've felt such deep passion for life. I feel renewed. My tears of frustration held in for five years since diagnosis finally had a place of expression with the other women at the retreat. They listened, I listened to them, we shared. I never wanted to BE that person with cancer. I never wanted to TALK it out. I needed Casting for Recovery to show me that it's okay to own the PINK. I hated all of the PINK gifts after my diagnosis. Now I view the PINK as an emblem of my resiliency. I have survived cancer when so many others close to me who were diagnosed at the same time as I did not make it. So if you know any one who is a breast cancer survivor, let them know that this is the program to apply for. It is life changing. Get spoiled, get outside, get with other women who know what it's like to be where you are, to be where you've been. I am so impressed with this organization, that I have chosen to volunteer in any capacity that I can to pay it forward.