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Preston student goes the extra mile for the Stroke Association

Press Release   •   Aug 10, 2015 15:51 BST

A Preston student will take on the Morrisons Great North Run on Sunday 13 September 2015, to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

Ruth Whittaker, 20 from Cottam, was inspired to take part in the half marathon after her grandad Gordon Lesley McRobbie died suddenly after a stroke in July 2014.

Ruth, a law student at Newcastle University, said: “We were completely unaware of his heart condition, so it was a complete shock to our family and friends when he had a stroke. My grandad was an Air Commodore in the RAF, and was a very popular and highly respected man. He was, and always will, be an inspiration to me.

“I want to raise funds for, and awareness of, the Stroke Association, because of the incredible work the charity does to support people affected by stroke.”

She added: “I haven't done a run like this before and although I think I will find it really hard, I’m hoping to run it in a good time. Training is going really well and I’m aiming to finish the run in just under two hours. When it comes to the big day, I know I will have my grandad in my mind, spurring me on.”

Liz Williams, Events Manager at Stroke Association, said: “With around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s around one every three and a half minutes – it’s vital that we have people like Ruth who can raise funds for people affected by stroke. Ruth is truly going the extra mile for the Stroke Association and we look forward to cheering her on as she speeds from Newcastle to South Shields.”

To sponsor Ruth, please visit For more information about the Morrisons Great North Run, please visit

The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care; supports people to make the best recovery they can and funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke. For more information about stroke, visit or call the helpline on 0303 3033 100.

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