Stroke survivor and star baker from Waunarlwydd, Jason McCarthy, is encouraging people across Wales to Give a Hand and Bake for the Stroke Association.
The charity’s latest fundraising initiative asks people to roll up their sleeves, grab a mixing bowl and bake to help make a difference for people affected by stroke. Give a Hand and Bake takes place this autumn from 24 – 30 October, when budding bakers will bake a difference all over the UK.
Jason, 47, worked in catering before a stroke changed his life in 2015. At first he didn’t realise it was a stroke, Jason explained, “it was about 3am and I couldn’t sleep so I went to pick up my tablet. My coordination was off and I just put it down to being early in the morning.
“Later in the morning I was loading the washing machine and couldn’t pick up the fabric softener. I realised something was wrong but assumed it was a trapped nerve and took myself to the hospital on the bus.”
By the time he arrived in hospital Jason could no longer use his right hand and he couldn’t get any words out.
“I knew there were a lot of heart problems in my family but no strokes. It didn’t sink in that something like that could be happening to me at my age. To begin with I couldn’t even butter a piece of toast, it was terrifying.
“I’ve still got a weakness in my right hand as I haven’t got much grip but otherwise people don’t realise I have any problems. I always enjoyed painting model cars before the stroke and I also loved baking but didn’t have any of the equipment I needed to be able to get back to it.
“I recently applied for a grant from the Stroke Association and I was able to get everything I needed to start baking again. I’m thrilled as I was so excited to bake with my little granddaughter. It’s not something I expected to be able to do again and I’m proud to say I can. I’ve also gone back to painting model cars; I’ve just had to buy slightly bigger ones.”
Bridget Stadden, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Jason’s recovery is truly inspiring. There are more than 65,000 stroke survivors living in Wales who need support to rebuild their lives.
“This October, we’re looking for bakers to help raise some serious dough for people recovering from stroke. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned chef or a first time baker, all you’ll need is a generous dollop of enthusiasm and a hungry group of friends and you’ll have the perfect recipe for fundraising success.
“Whether you prefer to host an afternoon tea for your colleagues or create a fancy showstopper to wow your friends, a simple donation in return for a slice of cake will help to make a real difference. With your support during Give a Hand Week we can create a new era for stroke where every stroke survivor gets the treatment they need and the lifelong care they deserve.”
For more information on how you can bake a difference and to get a free pack, visitwww.stroke.org.uk/giveahand
Photo credit: South Wales Evening Post/Jonathan Myers
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 www.stroke.org.uk