A brave stroke survivor from Knaresborough is taking part in the Knaresborough Fun Run on Sunday 11 May 2014, to help raise awareness of stroke during Action on Stroke Month.
Shirley Holden, 60, will tackle the 2.5 mile fun run at King James’s School which will mark the incredible progress she has made on her road to recovery.
Shirley had a stroke in 2009, four days after her 56th birthday. She was taken to Harrogate District Hospital by ambulance, where she spent the next six weeks. The stroke had affected the entire right side of her body, and the vision in her left eye.
In hospital, Shirley had daily physiotherapy to re-learn how to walk, write and even feed herself. By the time she was discharged, she could walk short distances with a stick, although was still heavily reliant on a wheelchair.
At first, Shirley couldn’t bathe, dress or prepare food on her own, and eventually, her husband took early retirement to care for her. Nevertheless, she refused to look backwards. Shirley had weekly physiotherapy and wore a splint to support her weakened ankle and hand. Almost five years on, Shirley’s recovery continues.
Shirley said: ‘I still have some way to go before I’m back to my old self, but thanks to the support of my husband, family and friends, life is becoming easier and more normal. At times I feel frustrated, but I’ll never give up on getting better. Having a stroke isn’t the end of your life; it’s just the beginning of a different one.
Taking part in the Knaresborough Fun Run will show just how far I’ve come in my long road to recovery. I hope it will also help to raise awareness of stroke and the impact it can have on the lives of stroke survivors and their families.
Mahalia France-Mir, Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: Shirley is a real inspiration and seeing her challenge herself is testament to how far she has come. She is proof that there is life after stroke and we’re extremely grateful for all her support and enthusiasm.
There are around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s one every three and a half minutes. It’s vital that people like Shirley are raising funds and awareness to ensure we can be there for even more families affected by stroke. We’ll be cheering her on every step of the way.
The Knaresborough Fun Run and Gala regularly attracts 3,000 visitors, with around 1,000 taking part in the 2.5 mile Fun Run and 150 in the demanding seven mile trail run. The Gala includes rides and assault courses, car boot sales and charity stands.
Action on Stroke Month 2014 is supported by Legal & General.
To find out more, please visit www.stroke.org.uk/strokemonth