Central Illinois (WMBD) — A local charity organization casts lines of relief for Central Illinoisans who have been touched by cancer.

The yearly catfish tournament, Castin’ Relief, turns money raised into care packages for current patients.

For Kalan Blum, it is a mix of a love for fishing and a love of life. Her life changed when she was diagnosed with cancer.

“In 2019, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” said Blum, Owner, Founder of Castin’ Relief. “It was kind of a surprise, but I knew with faith and my family I could get through anything.”

Now, almost two years in remission, she said she hopes to extend the same support she received to others.

She does it through her charity Castin’ Relief.

“Just after being very appreciative of the support and the care, and my family that I had during my treatment, I knew I really wanted to give back to others,” said Blum. “Maybe they can have some relief to focus on themselves and their health.”

Now in its second year, Castin’ Relief holds an annual catfish tournament.

The money raised helps purchase items for care packages for current cancer patients.

“Last year, we raised over $6,000 that we were able to donate to cancer patients here locally,” said Blum. “We were able to touch five with really large gifts and hopefully bring them some relief during their treatment, and then we also got to take 46 gifts out to the cancer care center for everyone who was receiving treatment that day, and that was awesome.”

After Scott Meixsell received a kidney transplant in 1998, he was then diagnosed with skin cancer.

He said Blum’s tenacity motivates him to help.

“She just wants to help everyone,” said Meixsell, a member of Castin’ Relief. “She just tries her hardest and just the love she gives to everyone. Everyone that comes by, there’s no stranger to her. She’s trying to get as much money and as many people together to do something great.”

Castin’ Relief is holding its second catfish tournament on Saturday, June 4. Boats hit the water at 6 a.m. at the Creve Coeur Boat Launch on Wesley Road.

Registration closes Saturday, May 28.

After the tournament ends, Castin’ Relief is also holding a fundraising day at GroUp Gardening in Pekin.

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