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​Local stroke survivor celebrates recovery with gruelling cycling challenge

Press Release   •   Feb 02, 2016 10:58 GMT

A Derbyshire stroke survivor is preparing to take on a 140 mile cycling challenge, and is calling out to others affected by stroke to join on him on the ride.

Steve Bowker, 60, from Whaley Bridge, is planning to tackle the Coast to Coast Cycle route, when he’ll cycle from Workington to Newcastle in June 2016. He is planning to take on the challenge to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association and Different Strokes.

Steve had a stroke in May 2014, while rock climbing in Derbyshire. He went to reach up but couldn’t move his arm, and when he tried to call for help, he couldn’t speak clearly. Luckily his friend and climbing partner called Mountain Rescue and he was taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Just six months after his stroke, Steve took part in the Wicklow Moonlight Challenge to raise more than £2,500 for the Stroke Association, where he walked 28km through the Wicklow Mountains. He is now appealing to people to join him on the 140 mile cycle in June, particularly others who may have been affected by stroke themselves or know others who have.

Steve said: “My stroke left me with weakness in my left side, however I’m improving all the time although it’s a slow process. I’m planning to raise money for the Stroke Association and Different Strokes to help other people affected by stroke get the support they need.

“Before my stroke I was an outdoor enthusiast and regularly climbed, cycled and ran competitively. This event is very much a personal challenge and will mark a real milestone in my recovery. It’s also a great opportunity to fundraise for a very worthwhile cause.”

Debra Rawlings, Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “With around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s around one every three and a half minutes - it is vital that we have people who can raise funds for people affected by stroke. We’re incredibly grateful to Steve for taking on this gruelling challenge; he is a real inspiration and proof that there is life after stroke.”

To get involved with the Coast to Coast Challenge alongside Steve, email steve.fernilee@talktalk.net or call 01663 734 452. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.

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 www.stroke.org.uk