Lodge hooks cancer retreat

Ten women from Nelson and Marlborough affected by breast cancer will gather at the Owen River Lodge near Murchison on Saturday for a five-star weekend retreat.

The women will be taking part in the local programme of what is an international and New Zealand nationwide non-profit and educational programme Casting for Recovery, which is for people of all ages and at all stages of breast cancer.

Casting for Recovery provides retreats at no cost to participants who are given fly-fishing instruction and breast cancer information in a setting that "helps lessen isolation, and provides a recreational activity with both physical and emotional benefits".

Owen River Lodge owner Felix Borenstein has offered the lodge for the weekend.

It is the second time he has been part of the programme, which first ran in New Zealand in 2010 when it was held in Rotorua, and the third time it has been held in the South Island.

The Owen River Lodge is a five-star boutique fly fishing lodge on the banks of the Owen River. Borenstein said he was a keen supporter of worthy causes and Casting for Recovery was a very good charity.

Casting for Recovery was founded in the United States in 1996 by a reconstructive surgeon and a fly fishing guide.

The programme's Nelson-Marlborough co-ordinator Sandra Jermyn said the generosity of the lodge meant it had saved the charity a great deal of fund raising.

She became involved and was convinced of the merits of Casting for Recovery after she nominated her sister to attend one of the retreats.

The women were due to arrive at the lodge tomorrow evening and would then take part in instruction on Saturday morning on fly fishing and how to set up a rod.

Healing and pampering sessions were arranged for the afternoon, and on Sunday the women would be paired off with fishing guides and taken out on the river.