Friendships for life

Posted: June 19, 2014 - 3:56pm

B&W Y‑12 has been a sponsor of the Casting for Recovery annual retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains for the past four years. This year Y‑12’s Sue Jones participated in the April 11–13 retreat, and Kathy Martin was a retreat volunteer.

Casting for Recovery uses fly fishing as a means to promote mental and physical healing for women with a breast cancer diagnosis. Physically, the motion of fly casting is similar to the exercises prescribed after surgery or radiation to stimulate soft tissue stretching.

The retreat focuses on wellness as opposed to illness, empowerment as opposed to helplessness. “It was just an excellent combination of some very fun activities, some bonding activities and some more serious information sessions,” Jones said. Women participating in the retreat had personal fly fishing guides who taught them how to make flies, cast a line and eventually waded into a stream with them to put that new skill to use.

Martin volunteered as a hospitality worker. “We did anything and everything that needed to be done; we carried luggage, fixed food, helped with fly casting,” Martin said. “We were gofers, and it was awesome.”

The retreats are provided at no cost to participants, and Martin was so inspired by her Casting for Recovery volunteer experience that she immediately set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations. “I’m shooting for $1,200, because it’s about $1,200 per lady,” Martin said. “And I’ve already signed up as a volunteer for next year.” For Jones, the retreat ensured she can travel the path to wellness with a band of new friends who share similar experiences.

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employee, community, health, wellness