Press release -
Redditch stroke survivor set to overcome aphasia with solo trip
Redditch stroke survivor, Steve Fitter, 57, is set to take on a huge personal challenge to help overcome his aphasia, with the support of the Stroke Association.
Steve had a major stroke in June 2013, and he was told he would never walk again. Used to working long hours as an IT project manager and frequently running, swimming and cycling long distances, Steve’s stroke had a massive impact on his life. His stroke initially left him with no movement on his right-hand side, although he has now made a good recovery physically. However, Steve has been left with aphasia, meaning his ability to communicate has been affected.
Steve is now preparing to travel across Cornwall alone, which will be a huge challenge for him since his stroke. Setting off on Monday 15 May, Steve is aiming to complete the trip to help him regain his freedom since his stroke. He’s chosen to complete the challenge in May to coincide with the Stroke Association’s national awareness month, Make May Purple.
Christy Weatherby, Life After Stroke Centre Coordinator at the Stroke Association in Bromsgrove, has been supporting Steve to prepare for the journey. Christy said: “After a stroke, around one in three people like Steve have difficulty communicating, which can be both terrifying and isolating. We’re supporting Steve to find his freedom by helping to plan routes, book accommodation, and produce communication aids to help him while he is on his travels.
“Because of his aphasia, Steve’s trip will be a real challenge, especially when travelling and talking to the public. We’re hoping our work with Steve at the Life After Stroke Centre will help equip him with all he needs to enjoy this trip and mark a huge milestone in his recovery.”
A keen runner and cyclist, Steve will be running each Saturday at different Park Run locations around Cornwall, as well as cycling across Cornwall on various routes. He will also be visiting local landmarks and attractions including Tintagle Castle, Paradis Bird Garden and Lizard Point Heritage Centre.
Make May Purple for Stroke is back and the Stroke Association is calling on people across Bromsgrove to join thousands of other supporters and go purple to show your support for people who have been affected by stroke.
Across the UK, more than a million people are rebuilding their lives after stroke. By supporting Make May Purple you are can help us to make sure stroke gets the attention it deserves and to raise vital funds for innovative research into stroke care and treatment. To get involved with Make May Purple and help to change the story for stroke survivors, visit www.stroke.org.uk/makemaypurple