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Cycling friends get in gear for stroke

Press release   •   May 24, 2016 14:26 BST

Caroline and Ruth after completing their challenge

Two friends have cycled the length of Wales after one of their husbands had a debilitating stroke.

Ruth Allen, 59 and Caroline Roberts, 65, from Brecon, are raising money and awareness for the Stroke Association after Ruth’s husband Bob had a major stroke in 2011.

Ruth, who works as admin support with the Red Cross, explained; “Bob didn’t feel well and then suddenly lost all his coordination. We got to hospital quickly and the stroke team were with him as his condition worsened. They reacted quickly but the clot in his brain was extremely dense.”

After the stroke Bob’s cognitive skills were badly affected and he has struggled with his rehabilitation. His mobility was also affected and he’s now confined to a wheelchair.

Ruth and Bob started a cycling club, along with Caroline’s husband Mike, 30 years ago called the Brecon Wheelers. Ruth and Caroline would support their husbands as their back-up team on long cycle rides. This time Mike supported Ruth and Caroline on their journey across Wales.

Ruth and Caroline started off on Llandudno’s promenade on Saturday 21 May and finished in Cardiff on Monday 23 May.

Ruth said; “Caroline prompted me to do the charity ride for Stroke Association when she came to visit us last summer, as she now lives in Cheshire. It was a challenge but I was determined to raise awareness of stroke and to raise money for stroke research.

“I think it is shocking that for every stroke patient in the UK, just £22 is spent on medical research each year, compared to £295 for every cancer patient. The work the Stroke Association do is essential to raise the profile of stroke and to ensure that research into the condition continues to happen.”

You can support Ruth and Caroline by visiting their Justgiving page

To find out more about the Stroke Association visit For more information about their work in Wales call 02920 524400 or email

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.  

Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at