Gary Saunders, 56, from Waterloovilleis taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon for the Stroke Association on Sunday 22 April 2018.
Gary was inspired to take on the marathon after his sister Jean had a stroke last June, and sadly passed away. Jean Fray, 60, was celebrating her eldest daughter’s wedding when she had a stroke. Jean collapsed just an hour after watching her daughter walk down the aisle and was quickly rushed to hospital.
Gary said: “It was such a shock to everyone. Jean was a fit, healthy and only 60 years old. We were heartbroken. A few days later my mum was taken into hospital and also had a stroke, she sadly passed away three weeks later.
“As a family we’re on a mission to make more people aware of this devastating condition. Often a stroke has no warning signs, like in Jean’s case, and we believe that more people should know a stroke can happen to anyone at any age.
“When I’m pounding the streets of London in April, it will hurt and feel tough, but I know Jean and my mum will be looking down on me pushing me to the finish line.”
Emma Evans at the Stroke Association, said: “A stroke turns lives upside down. It’s the fourth biggest killer in the in the UK and a leading cause of disability.
“We’re thrilled Gary is taking on this challenge to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association and we’re looking forward to cheering him on as he makes his way through London. Around 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the devastating impact of stroke. With the support of people like Gary we can help more stroke survivors and their families rebuild their lives.”
To sponsor Gary, please visit www.justgiving.com/gary-saunders7