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Inaugural Fly Fishing Retreat for Military Women with Breast Cancer

Austin, TX—May 31, 2017—Casting for Recovery (CfR), a national nonprofit organization providing free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer, recently teamed up with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) to hold a retreat exclusively for female disabled veterans and active duty military women who have experienced breast cancer. This inaugural retreat was sponsored in part by BAE Systems, Harman’s Log Cabins, Fly Fisherman magazine, Yeti, Costa, and Cheeky Fishing.

Thirteen women, representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, came together in West Virginia to support one another and experience the peace and serenity of fly fishing.

“The shared experiences of both military service and breast cancer are a powerful common denominator and we saw incredible camaraderie and support among the women,” says CfR Program & Development Director, Susan Gaetz. “This retreat definitely fills a need – there is very little out there to support the unique and sometimes complicated physical, emotional and psychological needs of these women.”

The retreat was held April 21-23, 2017 at Harman’s Log Cabins in West Virginia. The participants came from all over the U.S. and ranged in age from 36 to 66.  Medical and psychosocial sessions supported women navigating issues related to their military and cancer experience, such as treatment options, side effects, PTSD, Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and depression. Fly fishing served as an outlet for coping with the challenges of these topics, and provided a simple, authentic connection with nature.

This retreat program is the first of its kind in the country, and Casting for Recovery and PHWFF hope to expand retreat offerings for more military women in the future.

 Casting for Recovery® (CfR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1996 featuring a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Their retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to breast cancer survivors of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery, and are free to participants. To learn more: www.castingforrecovery.org


Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.  With over 200 volunteer-run programs nationwide, this top-tier Veteran Service Organization served over 7,500 disabled veterans in 2016 alone. To learn more: www.projecthealingwaters.org

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