Veterans fight cancer on fly fishing retreat

Veterans bond over fly fishing

On a secluded stretch of the Guadalupe River near Waring, TX, veterans learned to fly fish.

Their military service bonded them, and their shared experience fighting cancer made it easier for them to share their stories.

"It changes how you see things in life," said Leroy Cantrell about his prostate cancer. "Family is more important than anything to me."

Cantrell and the others were on the river courtesy of a partnership between Reel Recovery and Project Healing Waters.

The veterans were paired with "fishing buddies" who taught them how to fish. 

"Leroy and I are a very good fit together," said Cantrell's fishing buddy, Mike Drew. "We share a lot of common values and experiences and it's been a real privilege to meet him."

In fact, they share the two experiences that brought all the men to this retreat in the first place; Drew is a veteran and a stage three melanoma survivor. 

"They told me I was going to die. I've got a wife and two little kids, and here I am sitting in San Antonio in a hospital and they tell you you're gonna die," Drew said.

The men weren't just bonded with their brothers in arms on this trip. Each wore a vest signed by cancer fighters who've gone through this program before them.

"When I looked at all the different names and the dates on the names, just, 'Ok, I don't have to worry about it, there is a tomorrow.' That's what I got from the vest," Cantrell said.

When Cantrell wrote his name on the vest, he said he hoped it would send a similar message to the next guy to wear it.

"One day at a time. Don't worry about tomorrow," he said. "Just live today and enjoy today."

(© 2016 KENS)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment