Cast One for Recovery Aids Breast Cancer Survivors - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Cast One for Recovery Aids Breast Cancer Survivors

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MISSOULA -

One non-profit organization in West Glacier has made it their mission to enhance the quality of life for women with breast cancer. It was founded in 1996 by two women. One is a professional fly fisher. The other is an expert in reconstructive breast cancer surgery. Together, they help others by "Casting for Recovery."

"To spend a weekend with other breast cancer survivors is a place where you feel safe, a place where you not different again," Terry White, who is a breast cancer survivor, said.

At 29 years old, Terry White found a lump on her breast. Soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy.

"I had to go back for a right-sided mastectomy because the lumpectomy was too extensive. I did 8 chemo treatments."

Her road to recovery was certainly not smooth. Terry had to face the fact she had cancer, talk honestly and openly about her fears, switch doctors, find a cancer team, all while maintaining a job.

"Nobody knows how scary it is to go back for a mammogram. For everybody else, it's just routine. For any of the survivors, it's a scary thing again. It opens up that whole can of worms," added White.

Recently, Terry spent two-and-half-days learning the sport of fly-fishing with other female breast cancer survivors-- free of charge-- as part of the "Casting for Recovery" program.

"We all come here and in 48 hours or 2 1/2 days, we're a cohesive bond of sisters."

Whitney Milhoan is the Executive Director for Casting for Recovery. She said, "The concept was based on combining therapeutic properties of the sport of fly-fishing with the actual physical motion of casting the rod, which has been found to be beneficial to stretching of the soft tissues in the chest and shoulder, where a women with breast cancer might have had radiation treatment and surgery."

Today, the "Casting for Recovery" program has stretched across 34 states, with two locations in Montana, which are located in West Glacier and in Billings, and served over 5,600 women.

"Combining those two opportunities, you know, creating the support of community and also giving them the outlet to challenge themselves in something new all in kind of a safe and supportive environment, I think it's really a unique and beneficial service to provide for women with breast cancer," Milhoan mentioned.

"So many blessings along the way," Terry added. "I became a much more independent empowered female, who's very comfortable with who she is now."

The Casting for Recovery program is free to all breast cancer participants, but the non-profit relies heavily on grants and donations. To make a donation and to learn how you can sign up for future events, click here.

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