Richard Proctor, 51, from Leicester, is taking on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 11 March, to mark two years since his life-changing stroke.
A grandfather of six, Richard had a stroke in March 2016, while visiting his mother. Richard said: “I was working long hours travelling all over the country as a service engineer, and then visiting my mum at weekends as she was suffering from vascular dementia. One morning, I woke up unable to move my arm properly but put it down to pins and needles. I popped out in my car for the paper but crashed into a neighbour’s car.”
Doctors initially put Richard’s symptoms down to his car crash, and he took a week off work to rest. However, when his fiancée encouraged him to visit the doctor again, Richard was sent to hospital, where a scan revealed he had in fact had a stroke.
Richard’s stroke left him with aphasia, a communication disability. Richard said: “Initially I couldn’t say my name. I couldn’t get my words out or write; it was so frustrating. My daughter came to see me with my grandchildren and I just broke down crying. I still can’t understand numbers on the phone, I get my words mixed up, and I struggle with reading and writing.”
Richard is taking on the Stroke Association’s 10km Resolution Run at Braunstone Park, Leicester on Sunday 11 March to raise vital funds for the charity and mark two years in his recovery.
Richard added: “Last year I managed to complete the 5km Resolution Run; I was shattered but so proud. This year I’ve set myself the challenge of doing 10km and I’ll be walking most of it. My fiancée and friends will be coming to cheer me on. It’ll be a challenge but I won’t let my stroke beat me.”
Georgina Lawrence, Community and Events Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It's the ideal event for people who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2018.
“Every five minutes in the UK, someone’s life is turned upside down by stroke. By signing up to a Resolution Run, each runner will help us do so much more to support stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives. We’re thrilled Richard is taking part. We’re looking forward to cheering him on alongside our other participants as he makes his way through the park.”
At least half of strokes could be prevented if people made simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure under control, eating healthily and taking regular exercise. The money raised through the Resolution Runs will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in the West Midlands.
Entry fee is just £16. All runners receive a technical running t-shirt and medal. For more information about entering or volunteering at the Resolution Run, visit http://www.stroke.org.uk/resolution, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 330 0740.