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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2004


Casting for Recovery seeks Idaho retreat

Express Staff Writer

Hereís a novel, yet highly sensible idea. Give a woman who has had breast cancer and may have had a mastectomy a fly rod and teach her to cast it. Fly-casting will not only improve a womanís spirit but works the recovering muscles in her chest, shoulder and arm, as well.

With such a simple notion, Casting for Recovery was born. To date, Casting for Recovery has held 70 free, weekend retreats in 15 states, serving 900 breast cancer survivors. Now, the Washington State Retreat Director Joanne Elston, who lives part time in Ketchum, is working to start the first retreat in Idaho.

The closest retreat to Idaho is the one Elston has run for five years at Alexanderís Country Inn & Restaurant in Ashford, Wash.

Joanne Elston casts a fly rod on the Big Wood River. Express Photo by David N. Seelig

Elston was asked by the CFR head office in Manchester, Vt., to initiate a new retreat. An angler herself, she is currently looking for ways to raise money for a retreat and find places that would house up to 14 women. The retreat lasts two and a half days and includes fishing, therapy and evening group sessions. Educational resources are also provided on breast cancer issues, as well as information regarding fly-fishing opportunities.

Trained facilitators staff each retreat, including a psychotherapist, a healthcare practitioner and four fly-fishing instructors.

Nationally recognized and a nonprofit organization, CFR provides all retreats at no cost to the participants, including lodging, meals and professional instruction. Participants are asked to contribute what they can to help support the program. Any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is eligible to attend a retreat, with medical clearance from her physician, Elston said.

However, the way the program works itís open to only residents of that state, which is why itís so important to have one in Idaho. Applications are selected for participation at random. Applications and more information can be found through www.Castingforrecovery.org, or by Elston at 725-5212.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.