Skip to content Skip to footer

Female Cancer Survivors Bond Over Flyfishing

Cancer – just hearing that word when diagnosed can make you feel so isolated, like you’ve been singled out by the disease.  But there are many support groups and organization available for female cancer survivors, one of which is Casting for Recovery.  They are an amazing organization focused on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.  Throughout the year, Casting for Recovery holds fly-fishing retreats in Wyoming for cancer survivors who’ve undergone the same aggressive medical treatments, including double mastectomies and chemotherapy.

Why Fly-fishing?

After cancer treatments, muscles can often times become much weaker than they were before.  Fly-fishing offers a specific motion of casting that helps exercise some of these muscles that can become weaker.

“It is so hard to explain how peaceful it is to just have the motion of casting a fly rod,” said Tonia Hanson, 52 and a breast cancer survivor. “It was the first time I haven’t thought about what happened to me.”


Fishing and Healing

Casting for Recovery offers so much more than just a fly-fishing retreat.  You are surrounded by a group of women who have battled cancer and can relate to what you’ve been through.  There are lifetime friendships made with others and a sense of healing and letting go by the end of the retreat.  The women have felt that fly-fishing offers a way of casting aside the pain of their cancer treatment.

“They know what you feel so you don’t have to explain,” Tonia Hanson said. “It’s an awesome feeling.”

Kristin Kelly, a 42-year-old who was battling stage three cancer, says her treatment was grueling and had the “toughest radiation” in her words.  “It was a very lonely process and I felt no one understood what I was going through,” she said.

“When you catch it and you let it go, that visual of just letting it go is always hard for me to do,” Kelly said. “It’s hard to let go of a bad year.”

“A great majority of the women who attend Casting For Recovery have never attended any sort of conventional support group for their cancer,” said Executive Director Whitney Milhoan. “And so it tells us that this unconventional approach to healing is really meeting a need.”

Learning How To Live Again

Some of the women feel that the fly-fishing retreats offer a way to regain a semblance of feeling like yourself again — before the cancer. They have the opportunity to learn how to live again, without being consumed by cancer and feeling isolated.

“This is life,” Tonia Hanson said. “I’m doing more of it.”



Watch This Video To Learn More About Casting for Recovery


Learn more about this story at NBC News.

201 Broad Street
Suite 500
Stamford, CT 06901

BBB Accredited Business since 09/05/2006

Legal Notices:
Fifth Season Financial, L.P. (“Fifth Season”) is a licensed consumer lender in certain states. Loans being made or arranged by Fifth Season to California residents are made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license, California lender license #603 E043. Loans being made or arranged by Fifth Season to Texas residents are made or arranged pursuant to a Texas Regulated Lender License, Texas lender license #14000508545-151373. This site is directed at, and made available to, persons in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii only. The Funds for Living Program is not available to residents of all states. Fifth Season’s principal place of business is 201 Broad Street, Suite 500, Stamford, CT 06901, Phone 855.45.FUNDS.

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy | Legal Notices & Terms of Use

Fifth Season Financial, L.P. | 2022. All Rights Reserved.

This website and its content shall not constitute a solicitation or advertisement in any state where Fifth Season Financial LP is not permitted to make a loan to residents of that State