Fly fishing

Treat yourself with fly fishing? Meet the good neighbors this week

LANSING, Michigan – The Grand River is a must-see in Lansing. It runs through town, serving as a place to hang out with friends, go fishing, or take a stroll along the river. For a local band, this serves another very different and extraordinary purpose.

East Lansing resident Dale Carlson visits the Grand River as part of the non-profit Casting For Recovery.

“Casting For Recovery was originally developed by a breast surgeon,” Carson explains. “The surgeon is a fly fisherwoman, and she found that using her arm to cast a fly fishing rod was beneficial. This movement was good for stretching after surgery. Several times after the breast tissue and lymph nodes are removed, you’re pretty stiff and you can swell up easily. Getting more movement, you know, provides more circulation. “

Casting for recovery

Casting For Recovery participants fish along the shore

Sandy Thomley is the coordinator of Casting for Recovery Michigan. Every summer, she organizes a free outdoor fly fishing weekend for women with breast cancer, at no cost to participants. Thomley says pensions are a much needed respite for women.

“What I see doing at Casting for Recovery is taking someone who’s been through cancer to take a break, stop and take a weekend for themselves and meet other people. who went through a similar situation, ”said Thomley. “You can talk about shared experiences; you can learn something from each other. “

Thomley says 70% of Casting for Recovery participants nationwide have never been in a support group before attending retreats.

Michelle Yelovina discovered she had breast cancer at the age of 37. For several years, Michelle says she participated in the Susan G. Komen 60 Mile Walk. At one of the events, she met an 85-year-old man named George, who changed her life.

“He asked me if I had had a mammogram. I was like, it’s a little personal, and I’m a little young to do that, ”Yelovina says. “His agreement was that he would take these walks and make the women promise to have mammograms.”

Yelovina says she finally promised George that she would make an appointment for a mammogram.

“I went to talk to my doctor, and she agreed that would be a good baseline, and we’ll compare it when you’re 40,” Yelovina says. “I went there, and she called me that day and said, okay, you have to see a surgeon.”

After Yelovina’s diagnosis, she heard about Casting for Recovery.

“It was a support group that I didn’t know I needed,” she said. “And I am absolutely delighted with the death that I have.”

Michelle and Bob at the 60 Mile Susan G. Komen Walk

Michelle yelovina

Michelle and Bob at the 60 Mile Susan G. Komen Walk

Casting For Recovery Michigan hosts a fly fishing retreat every year.

The weekend costs approximately $ 1,500 per participant. Volunteers spend the whole year fundraising and can usually cover the costs of around 14 women to attend the event, although the group receives many more applications.

A draw selects the women who can attend.

“Casting For Recovery volunteers are good neighbors because we give back to the community,” says Carson. “We’ve all been through something horrible and we know all the other women who have a similar horrible experience. We’re trying to provide something to help other women.”

Kirsten Fisk agrees with Carson.

“There are always emotions just below the surface. And this is true for all participants and volunteers, ”says Fisk. “I can say that at the end of the weekend we are emotionally exhausted, it’s but it’s nice to see people being able to express their emotions. I can say Casting for Recovery was the support group I didn’t know I needed. “

We want to thank the volunteers at Casting for Recovery Michigan for hosting free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer, and at the same time, making an emotional and sometimes painful experience a little less lonely.

If you would like more information about Casting for Recovering Michigan, you can visit their website at

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