Fly-fishing provides an escape for many people, offering a chance to get outside and enjoy a peaceful getaway. One group of women is healing through fly-fishing.
“I did have a breast cancer diagnosis." Linda Lovgren is a breast cancer survivor and a fly-fishing enthusiast, but she never imagined she could combine the two to help other women. “I was home recovering from a little bit of surgery and I was reading one of my fly-fishing magazines and I found this article about Casting For Recovery.”
Casting For Recovery is a national nonprofit that uses fly-fishing to help women recover, both physically and emotionally, from breast cancer. One problem was Nebraska didn't have a chapter. “I started the dialogue with them to start a program in Nebraska," said Lovgren.
The group was approved last November and on September 14th, a group of women attended a weekend-long retreat at Snake River. “Using the outdoors and the idea of getting away from all the usual places that you think about the disease or that you're involved in taking a new sport and through that new sport concentrating on wellness, not illness.”
She says most of the women had never gone fly-fishing before. Most of them just wanted support from other survivors. "For some of the women, this was the first time that they had shared much about what they were going through physically or emotionally with someone outside of a physician or family member."
After a weekend away from the norm, all 14 participants left knowing they weren't alone. "This gave them a whole new avenue for releasing a lot of the anxiety that comes with being sick with anything."
The group had more than 40 survivors apply and the 14 were randomly selected. The cost of the trip was around $20,000 with all the money raised ahead of time and offered at no cost to the women.