Why Pink | Bozeman Fly Shop – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Why Pink | Bozeman Fly Shop

We all know, that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are thrilled to be participating in the world’s efforts to bring this terrible disease to the front and center of our many website visitors for the month. Most of us at Fins & Feathers know someone who has been affected by Breast Cancer and watched someone we know suffer through terrible hardships and pain. We have watched friends and family members overcome Breast Cancer through early detection, tireless efforts, and remarkable medical advances. We have lost loved ones and suffered with emptiness, sorrow, and the questions that only the ones left behind can comprehend. Please take a moment this month to talk about Breast Cancer.

I lost my mother in law, Carol Foreman, back in late 2007 after a 17 year-long battle with cancer that started as Breast Cancer. Carol was a saint, a joy, an angel, an amazing mom, full of laughter, the sweetest voice, the kindest heart, and relentless in her pursuit of a life worth living. Her family was her life and I am profoundly grateful to have known her and to be able to spend my life with her daughter. Although she suffered mightily as the disease progressed, she continued to live her life, make our lives better, and savor the moments that she did have.

Carol never fly-fished (I did offer), but she loved coming out west and watching the landscape and rivers of Southwest Montana. I recall a day on the Yellowstone River I spent with her – the water was high and muddy – and she just wanted to go on a float to experience the river. We would come around corners with the water surging and she would watch it all go by and loved the sound of the water as it ripped its way through Paradise Valley. I stopped to make a few casts and looked back as Carol was half out of the boat grabbing on willow sprigs, trying to get the boat within a few inches of the bank. I offered to help, but she wanted none of that. She reached over and grabbed a few rocks, put them in her pockets with the hope of taking them home with her to remember the day.

I spend nearly half of my days on rivers, lakes, and the flats of the world. Carols love for life, family, and her awe for nature are her gifts to me (plus her amazing daughter). I can’t look at a river rock without recalling that day and the joy I have known because of her.

There are many wonderful non-profits in Breast Cancer research, awareness, and support. These organizations rely on donations and grants to perform their works as we all know. Casting for Recovery is located here in Bozeman and offers an amazing support network for women at all stages of their battle with Breast Cancer. Please join Fins & Feathers of Bozeman this October in our efforts to offer financial support to this wonderful organization. You can learn more about Casting for Recovery here and donate to their efforts.

As I mentioned, Carol never fly-fished. If we would have known about CFR back then, she would have been one of the first to sign-up for the next retreat. My hope is that more women, affected with Breast Cancer, will be afforded the opportunity to experience the therapeutic and life-changing power of a life on the water with CFR.