Fishing retreat offers cancer connection
A charity that helps to connect those whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer is on the lookout for participants for it’s next retreat.
Casting for Recovery is a national not-for-profit group that supports people of all ages and in all stages of breast cancer.
In the top of the South, the charity holds an annual retreat at the Owen River Lodge, near Murchison, with the aim of teaching women fly fishing to promote mental and physical healing.
Casting for Recovery member Paula Miles said she became involved with the charity after attending a retreat herself, and has since volunteered at another two.
The three-day retreats are held at no cost to participants.
Women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer can apply for the retreat, with 10 participants then chosen out of a ballot. The first South Island retreat was held in 2012.
Miles said she had never done any fly-fishing and was reluctant to put herself forward, but a friend who had also experienced breast cancer encouraged her to do so.
She was chosen out of the ballot and went on the retreat several months after completing chemotherapy treatment.
‘‘What was great for me was getting out into nature and being able to stand in the river, it’s very healing.
‘‘It’s very soothing, it has got an air of mindfulness, you are in the moment because you are concentrating.’’
Miles lives in Golden Bay and said it could be difficult for rural women to access cancer support services as they were often based in the main centres. The retreat removed those barriers.
Her roommate during the retreat had breast cancer 15 years earlier and Miles said she had been a positive role model.
‘‘I found it really supportive, it was really good to meet with other women in various stages of recovery.
The next retreat will be held from April 27 - 29 at the Owen River Lodge. Applications close at the end of February. For more information and to apply, visit www.castingforrecovery.org.nz
Casting for Recovery is one of the applicants for The Car Company’s $10,000 Charity Drive.
Nelson woman Hannah Straker holds a fish caught during the Casting for Recovery retreat.