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Suffolk stroke survivor is set to face the heat at charity firewalk

Press Release   •   Jan 19, 2017 10:11 GMT

A thrill-seeking stroke survivor from Stowmarket is preparing to walk barefoot across burning coals to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

Claire Ruddock, 53, of Stowupland Road, will take on the fundraising firewalk on Sunday 19 February at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club.

Claire was inspired to complete the challenge for the charity after she had a stroke in July 2011. Claire said: “I’d been to the pub with my partner for a couple of drinks and as we left to go to our local takeaway, I felt really strange. As soon as we got home I went upstairs to lay down and my partner followed me up. He saw me and straight away recognised that I was having a stroke. He quickly dialled 999 and I went to hospital.”

The stroke has left Claire with weakness down the left side of her body, anxiety and emotional problems. Claire has since joined the Stroke Association’s Suffolk Working Age Group Stroke group, where she meets other local stroke survivors and takes part in different activities.

Claire said: “Joining the local Stroke Association groups has given me back my confidence and my life. I now want to raise funds to help other people affected by stroke get the support they need from the Stroke Association, like I did. This is the second time I’ve done a firewalk for the charity, and strangely, I’m looking forward to doing it again!”

Louise Everett, Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “The firewalk is an exhilarating experience and a great way to raise money for the Stroke Association. The funds raised by Claire and all our firewalkers will go a long way towards supporting local stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives after stroke. There’s still time to sign up so we’d encourage everyone in the local area to get involved and register to take part.”

All participants will have a training session before. Registration is from 3:30pm with the firewalk at 6pm.

The firewalk costs £15 to register, and participants are asked to pledge to raise a recommended £100 in sponsorship for the Stroke Association. For more information and to sign up, call 0300 330 0740 or email:

To sponsor Claire, please contact

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 one of the largest causes of 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