Casting for Recovery, Lily Renzetti Gives Strength To Breast Cancer Survivors

By  //  June 28, 2015

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Florida chapter of Casting for Recovery was launched in 2010 by Lily Renzetti who owns a Titusville-based manufacturer of fly fishing equipment. Renzetti, impressed by what she had witnessed at Casting for Recovery retreats around the country, began efforts to bring the concept to Florida.

2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN

Anyone who has ever tried fly fishing knows that the pastime is more than just a sport. It can change your perspective on life.

CASTING-FOR-RECOVERY-388-1For women battling breast cancer, the fly fishing sessions provided by the Casting for Recovery program are an opportunity for life-changing experiences.

“I found answers, hope, support and friendship at Casting for Recovery,” said Debbie Bradley, a breast cancer survivor that lost a breast and 29 lymph nodes and required extensive chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgeries.

“I found strength in our group of wounded warriors. I found hope that life would return again to normal.”

The Florida chapter of Casting for Recovery was launched in 2010 by Lily Renzetti who owns a Titusville-based manufacturer of fly fishing equipment.

Renzetti, impressed by what she had witnessed at Casting for Recovery retreats around the country, began efforts to bring the concept to Florida.

Originally founded in Vermont by a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisherman, Casting for Recovery is based on the healing power of the natural world. (Image for Space Coast medicine & Active Living)

Originally founded in Vermont by a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisherman, Casting for Recovery is based on the healing power of the natural world. (Image for Space Coast medicine & Active Living)

Every April in Florida, 14 breast cancer survivors selected in a random drawing of applicants meet in Brevard for a weekend of camaraderie, exercise and discovery.

The group is kept small to take the best advantage of the interaction between survivors, counselors and the fly fishing guides.

“That way we can really make an impact for the participants,” said Renzetti.

Originally founded in Vermont by a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisherman, Casting for Recovery is based on the healing power of the natural world.

Participants are given a weekend, free of all costs and free of the stresses of medical treatment, home and workplace, to be challenged in beautiful surroundings within a nurturing structure.

FISH TALES & COCKTAILS

The retreats incorporate counseling and educational services led by trained facilitators, including a psycho-social therapist and a physical therapist, oncologist, nurse or other health care professional.

The Florida chapter of Casting for Recovery was launched in 2010 by Lily Renzetti who owns a Titusville-based manufacturer of fly fishing equipment. (Space Coast Medicine & ActiveLiving)

The Florida chapter of Casting for Recovery was launched in 2010 by Lily Renzetti, above left, who owns a Titusville-based manufacturer of fly fishing equipment. (Space Coast Medicine & ActiveLiving)

Alumni groups meet twice a year for an outing where volunteers are also invited to attend. “They become friends, and go fishing or kayaking,” said Renzetti.

Casting for Recovery is not the only charity Renzetti supports. The former president of the Pilot Club of Titusville, Renzetti remains active on the board of this organization, which promotes mental health through support of Joe’s Club, The Children’s Center and the North Brevard Sharing Center, among others.

To make the Brevard Casting for Recovery retreats reality, Renzetti had to cast throughout Florida to organize a corps of more than 30 volunteers that include counselors, fly fishing instructors, boat captains and river guides.

Events such as “Fish Tales and Cocktails,” held at the Institute of Military Technology at Knight Armament help raise the $15,000 to $18,000 the annual event costs. Renzetti also hosts an open house for the “who’s who” in the fly-fishing industry to benefit Casting for Recovery, as well as other charities the company supports.

Through the use of fly fishing as a “hook,” the healing retreats empower women to overcome the challenges of breast cancer. “The whole concept is so beautiful,” said Renzetti. “It’s magic, what happens on those Casting for Recovery weekends.”

Through the use of fly fishing as a “hook,” the healing retreats empower women to overcome the challenges of breast cancer. “The whole concept is so beautiful,” said Lily Renzetti. “It’s magic, what happens on those Casting for Recovery weekends.”

Breast cancer forever changes a woman, no matter how many years she lives. Deborah McGauley, a 17-year survivor, participated in a Casting retreat.

“The truth is that it doesn’t really go away,” said McGauley. “There are scares along the years, and it is strange for those close to us to see the need for confirmation again and again.”

Through the use of fly fishing as a “hook,” the healing retreats empower women to overcome the challenges of breast cancer.

“The whole concept is so beautiful,” said Renzetti. “It’s magic, what happens on those Casting for Recovery weekends.”

ABOUT THE 2015 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS

The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world. 

This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.

“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.

All Humanitarian alumni are presented a specially commissioned medallion.

“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.

This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Wuesthoff Health System, M.H. Williams Construction, Florida Pain, Brevard Geriatrics, SOAR Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Clear Choice Health Care, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, First Choice Medical Group, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a nomination for the 2015 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.


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