Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, the unique outdoor programme which provides fly fishing retreats for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, hosted its first Republic of Ireland retreat at the Mount Falcon Hotel at Ballina, Co Mayo from 10-12 June, 2009. The retreat also saw the milestone of CfR's 100th participant.
Casting for Recovery (CfR) provides fly fishing programmes at idyllic retreats around the UK and Ireland. Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a retreat (with medical clearance from their doctor). Retreats take place over two-and-a-half days and all accommodation, meals, counselling, and professional instruction are provided at no cost to participants due to the financial backing of the Countryside Alliance. Appropriate clothing and fishing tackle is provided by Orvis UK.
Fly fishing is a gentle exercise which requires no strength and is exactly the sort of exercise in which recovering breast cancer patients can participate safely. Fly fishing also offers those on retreat a chance to reflect and escape in tranquil surroundings. Casting for Recovery was founded in the United States in 1996 and has since helped over 3,000 breast cancer survivors. In the UK and Ireland it began in 2006 and 100 women have now been through the programme over eight retreats.
The UK and Ireland Programme Co-ordinator is Sue Hunter, who recovered from breast cancer to become an international gold medallist fly fisher. Sue said: "Casting for Recovery exists to provide a supportive, fun and memorable experience for participants, and I can't think of a better environment in which to provide that than the beautiful Irish countryside. I am also delighted that 100 ladies have now been through the programme – this is a great milestone for everyone in the team who has worked so hard to make this happen. Mount Falcon has been a breathtaking backdrop for our particular brand of therapy and I am sure that many lifelong friendships have been made here over the course of the retreat."