While gigantic foundations raise millions of dollars to eradicate breast cancer, and pink ribbons become so ubiquitous that they no longer raise much awareness, there is a small non-profit based in Vermont and sponsored nationally by Orvis and The Hartford -- Casting For Recovery -- that works to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors 14 at a time. They teach them fly fishing.
"It's like whispering a prayer
In the fury of a storm"
They gather 14 survivors of all ages and stages in a beautiful natural setting, provide medical and psychological support to help smooth the turmoil of diagnosis, surgery, treatment, and reconstruction, and they teach them fly fishing.
"It's like trying to stop a fire
With the moisture from a kiss"
I attended Ohio's retreat last year as a breast cancer survivor. I was already a fly fisherwoman, so I already knew the healing power of standing in a river completely in the moment concentrating on current, rod, line, possible fish, breezes, and patches of sunlight on the water. I attended this year as a past participant and fishing instructor. This year, I got to stand in the water beside a sister survivor and help her learn to focus on how much her cast was improving, not how much it was lacking. We laughed when she hooked my hat, and when she caught a fish, we both screamed with excitement way out of proportion to the size of the fish.
"I hear them saying you'll never change things
And no matter what you do it's still the same thing
But it's not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world we know
Never changes me" (Garth Brooks)
Your donation to CFR will not change the world. It WILL make a very real difference to a breast cancer survivor who could be your mother, sister, friend, or colleague at work.