In 2008, I participated in a weekend long retreat run by Casting For Recovery on Cape Cod where we learned fly fishing. It was a retreat for women with breast cancer and had such an impact on me, I went back and volunteered in 2009, 2011, and 2012 (no retreat in 2010, 2013, and 2014). The woman who lead the retreat for 15 years resigned in 2012 and the group sort of fell apart as others also resigned because they had been volunteering as long and it was time to move on.
Now, me, yes, me with all my health ailments has volunteered to be the new retreat coordinator for Massachusetts and Rhode Island and get the retreat going again in 2015. I do not have much to do, I am sure it will be easy with all my excess energy. I need to come up with a team of volunteers, run 3 fund raising events each year, and get it all organized.
This is what I have so far for a team: me with a few others who have promised to help once we get moving.
This is what I have far for fundraising events: I think we will have a reunion luncheon in the fall.
Otherwise, we do not have anyone, nor a location, nor a budget (I need to write that one out), nor much financing. I have a bit of work to do.
But I want to do it. The weekend I participated in the retreat I remember driving there thinking 'what the hell am I doing going away for a weekend to learn about fishing - and I'm not touching a single slimy fish - with a bunch of people I don't know - I really am crazy - I must have lost all brain cells during chemo. But wait, I have gall stones and can always claim a gall bladder attack and leave if it is really that bad.'
It really was a turning point in my coping with breast cancer. I left inspired and energized. I even got a fishing rod (not that I ever go fishing). I wanted to help other women have the same experience that I did. The three years I volunteered were all the more beneficial after seeing the participants grow and cope with their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment were even more rewarding.
So now, I am determined to get this program back on the road again. I am mailing out a letter to all previous participants in MA and RI and getting the ball rolling. Another former participant is printing the letters. I will stuff the envelopes next weekend and send them on their way.
If you want to help me in my moderately insane decision to do this, please let me know. You can volunteer (contact me) or donate (see their website for details and mark your donation for MA/RI retreat). Sometimes I may be really crazy but I think this is something I really want to do. Its all about the benefit for the women who are coping with breast cancer and the benefit it gives to them.