International fly fishing co-operation to set up Casting for Recovery Italy

Staff from Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland have had a successful visit to Italy to help Italian fly fishers set up an Italian version of the programme. The unique charity, which takes ladies with breast cancer on free retreats, using fly fishing and medical support to help them move forward from illness, had been spotted online by Italian lady fly fishing instructor, Laura Pisano, who wanted to know more.

Three members of the UK team – Director, Jill Grieve, Casting Co-ordinator Sally Pizii and Casting Instructor Tony Pizii – travelled to Massa in Tuscany at Laura’s invitation to attend a fly fishing trade show at which Jill Grieve made a presentation about Casting for Recovery (CfR) to the Italian fly fishing community, who had also invited along oncologists from the local hospital. The meeting went well and the goal is to launch CfR Italia, with support from the UK and US, with a view to running a first retreat in Tuscany in 2017.

Casting for Recovery is a unique fly fishing programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer. The programme takes a maximum of 14 ladies on a 2 ½ day retreat where a unique formula of fly fishing, counselling, and medical advice promote mental and physical healing to women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer. The focus is very much on moving forward.

Jill Grieve told the 30 or so Italian fly fishers and medics about the running of a retreat, the positive effects it has on participants and the valuable use of our countryside and fly fishing as a form of therapy for body and mind. She ended: “The European Parliament confirms that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in European women aged 35 to 59, so it is sadly true that there are no shortage of ladies who could benefit from what the Casting for Recovery model can offer. Cancer has no borders so there is no reason this project should either. CfR is a positive force and we are delighted to introduce it to you here in Italy.”