Fish­ing re­treat of­fers can­cer con­nec­tion

The Leader (Tasman) - - RELAY FOR LIFE - SAMAN­THA GEE

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.cast­ing­for­recov­

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.

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