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Norfolk stroke survivor to go the extra mile for the Stroke Association

Press release   •   Mar 19, 2019 10:25 GMT

Mike Jolly, 49, from Taverham, is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon for the Stroke Association on Sunday 28 April 2019 after two of his closest friends also had strokes in the same year.

Tragically, a stroke cost his childhood friend Phillip Lawson his life in early 2017 while his friend, Richard Boyce, was left unable to walk or return to the job he loved following his.

Rugby player Mike had a stroke in October 2013 during a match. While he initially felt “peculiar” during the game, it was only on his drive home that Mike discovered he was having a stroke. Doctors informed him that it had been damage to his vertebral artery, during the match that had caused his stroke and left him unable to walk and talk.

Thankfully months of rehabilitation helped Mike get back on his feet and back to fitness. He is now planning to run in the London Marathon for his two friends who have not been as fortunate, while raising funds for the Stroke Association.

Mike said: “I feel very lucky and fortunate to be where I am today. There are no words that I can use to express how cruel stroke can be and has been to my friends Philip and Richard and their amazing families. The three of us grew up together in Long Stratton and had wonderful times but then we’ve all had strokes as we looked to turn 50”

“I’m taking on the London Marathon, for the first time, because I have been allowed to do so. Fortune has shone a light upon me and I am running for all stroke survivors. Particularly though, I feel like I am running with and for Philip and Richard.”

“I am looking to raise as much as possible but initially my target is £3000. I am planning to hold other fundraising events that will help me reach my target and my daughter, Anna, has also raised £600 with her first ever half-marathon”

Mike will also be running wearing Phillip’s son’s scout neckerchief, in tribute to the scout club Mike, Richard and Phillip have all been a part of at some point.

Sara Betsworth, Head of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association, said: “There are around 100,000 strokes every year in the UK and 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the devastating impact of stroke. We’re so grateful to Mike for taking on this famous challenge to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association and we’ll be cheering him on all the way to the finish line.”

“A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it turns lives upside down. However, with the support of people like Mikewe can help more stroke survivors and their families as they look to rebuild their lives.”

To sponsor Mike please visit

If you are available on Sunday 28 April and would like to join the #TeamStroke cheer squad, please email:

There are two cheer points located at:

  • Canada Square – Canary Wharf
  • Tower Bridge Road

Any amount of time you can spare on the day to support and motivate the amazing runners, would be greatly appreciated.


For more information, please contact: Ken Scott on 0115 7788429 or

  • 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 more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year; that is around one stroke every five minutes. 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