"What a wonderful weekend I had! You folks certainly spoiled us. It was a positive experience for me to meet other women who have/have had breast cancer. You suddenly realize you are certainly not alone. Although I don’t mean to diminish my experience, because it WAS traumatic and very frightening, other women have gone through so much more than I. I made some new friends, laughed a lot, looked inward, ate tooo much, and learned a great deal about fly fishing. I didn’t think I would like fly fishing as much as I did. Floating around on the lake and casting as though I knew what I was doing was great. The only thing missing was a latte! The staff was very helpful and patient with us. Thank you so much for inviting me and making me feel so welcome!"
These were the words shared by one of the breast cancer survivors who participated in the Alaska Casting for Recovery retreat which took place last month amid idyllic surroundings in the vast Alaska wilderness. Casting for Recovery helps women recover, both physically and emotionally, through the unique benefits of fly-fishing…a sport which uses just those muscles most affected by breast cancer surgery. Couple the physical benefits with a weekend retreat in a beautiful natural setting, surrounded not only by other women experiencing the very same turmoil, but also volunteers who are committed to making the event transformative in every way, and you have a winning combination.
As we reported in this Diary on March 17, 2009, the Good People Fund offered a challenge to the Alaska chapter of the national Casting for Recovery program–we would match up to $2500 for any new funds they raised this year. By all reports we received the challenge was just what this group needed to succeed. Cheryl Kline, one of the organizers reported "that your challenge particularly struck home with me and encouraged me to go after the $5 to $50 donations — and provide some more creative fund raising opportunities to encourage that."
We are so happy that the Good People Fund was part of the effort to make this weekend retreat a success. The Alaska group was a pleasure to interact with and we were thrilled to learn that next year they hope to sponsor two retreats which will allow even more women to participate-it seems that Alaska’s immense size makes it especially important to offer the experience in more than one location!