Who Are We ?
Casting for Recovery Victoria programs are managed by a sub-committee of Mending Casts Inc, a Melbourne based non-profit organisation licensed to run these events under agreement with Casting for Recovery in the USA. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for women with breast cancer through a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic activities of fly fishing.
The program offers opportunities for women to find inspiration, renew their energy for life and experience the healing gained from networking with others and reconnecting with nature. We support breast cancer survivors of all ages, in all stages of recovery, at no cost to participants. We also provide participants with post-retreat referrals to their nearest fly fishing club so that they can continue to enjoy participating in similar activities into the future.
Casting for Recovery Goals
The goals of Casting for Recovery are to:
Give each participant a respite from familiar surroundings and routines in a natural
where setting ere well-being can flourish;
Provide a welcoming environment, free of family responsibility and other concerns, helping participants
take charge of their own wellness;
Provide a weekend of fun and support incorporating the wonderful activity of fly fishing;
Allow participants to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the outdoors and to be in the moment;
Provide the opportunity for participants to practise fly fishing skills;
Provide participants with an opportunity for help & support at no expense; and
Offer the opportunity to meet new friends, network, exchange information and have fun.
Casting for Recovery was founded in 1996 by two women in the USA, a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. They combined their skills to develop the initial Casting for Recovery program.
Casting for Recovery has inspired international efforts in Canada, UK, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and now in Australia. A program has been running in the Australian Capital Territory since 2014 and has now been introduced to Victoria.
Casting for Recovery’s innovative program focuses on women recovering from breast cancer and improving their quality of life. It has attracted endorsements from medical and psychosocial experts.
Casting for Recovery co-founders
Dr. Benita Walton and Gwenn Perkins Bogart
Why use Fly Casting to assist recovery from Breast Cancer?
Whilst the concept is unique, the mechanics of fly casting are a natural way of restoring physical condition to people post surgery or treatment. Fly fishing uses a whole range of body movements and the casting motion promotes joint movement and soft tissue stretching. Post-surgery, a mastectomy scar has a tendency to adhere to the nearest tissue possible, thereby limiting movement. Casting a rod opens up the chest area and encourages the use of both arms in differing directions in conjunction with a range of shoulder, back and hip movements.
Experience gained from the USA and International programs shows that participation in a Casting for Recovery event can be physically therapeutic and mentally rejuvenating. Quite often, participants have taken up fly fishing and continued the pursuit as their main leisure activity for years after their participation in an event or retreat. In fact there is compelling research compiled from years of successful events in the USA attesting to the power of the Casting for Recovery program and the positive outcomes it generates. Their data show a significant reduction in emotional, physical and spiritual concerns for people post-retreat.
In 2011 and 2012, Casting for Recovery USA was the subject of a National Comprehensive Cancer Network study. It found that Casting for Recovery participants had experienced a statistically significant reduction in anxiety and other distress symptoms associated with recovery from breast cancer. The study’s conclusion was that Casting for Recovery is a valuable program to reduce and/or identify areas of emotional distress for women recovering from breast cancer.
Post-retreat evaluations show that:
97% would recommend the program to others
95% felt connected with other participants
92% gained a new support base with new friends
88% felt better able to cope with their situation
89% felt more aware and accepting of themselves
88% learned something new about living with breast cancer.
Our Australian Programs
Several successful retreat programs have been run here since 2016.
The interview provided below is courtesy of the ABCs Big Fish podcast with Scott Levi, and provides an excellent insight into the local Casting for Recovery programs and their benefit for Australian participants.
A link to an associated ABC new article is available here:
More recently, a Casting for Recovery Victoria committee member was interviewed by John Didge and Stephen Patterson from the Geelong Fishing Show on 94.7 Pulse FM.
Click on the link below to hear the interview.