Cancer survivors find peace fly fishing


When you think of fly fishing therapeutic might not come to mind.

"It's a little difficult for me because I'm really not a fisherman, but it was a good experience," explained Patti Allen, breast cancer survivor.

Breast cancer survivor Patti Allen cast here worries aside at a fly fishing retreat, with a little help.

"I think fly fishing is therapeutic simply because it puts you often in a very beautiful environment and you get very focused on what you're doing where other worries and thoughts just leave your mind," said Diane Ellis, Casting Instructor.

"So the point is to get them out of their environment that they're currently in the mindset that they're in and take them to a new place that's beautiful outdoors and give them a truly pampering weekend where we teach them a new sport," explained Patti Hummert, Reeling and Healing Midwest.

Reeling and Healing Midwest is a non-profit organization offering flying fishing retreats to women who are cancer survivors.

"It could have been a woman who had a childhood cancer, it could be a woman who's 20 years out from cancer or it could be a newly diagnosed and a woman who is still in treatment," explained Hummert.

"It creates connection in a different way. You trust yourself to try something new, you trust that you can get better at it, you trust that you can successful," said Ellis.

Organizers say the combination of learning something new while surrounded by fellow survivors makes the retreat a success.

"Once you step foot into the water everything else more or less gets walked away," said Hummert.

"You have the support of family and friends, but you don't really have that person to connect with who's actually going through what you've been through or have gone through so it's a good experience," explained Ellis,

Reeling and Healing Midwest is offering two retreats this year. The first is scheduled for April 25-27 and another in October. For more information call 616-855-4017 or go to


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment