Press release -
Somerset stroke survivor takes on Resolution Run for charity after being told she will never walk again
A stroke survivor who was told she may never walk again is taking part in a Stroke Association’s Resolution Run, after surviving a stroke at 29 years old.
Gemma Green, 36, from Somerset, had a stroke in 2011. Gemma’s stroke was caused by a blood clot triggered by taking the contraceptive pill. The stroke left Gemma unable to talk or walk.
Gemma said: “I had my stroke in July 2011, just five months after taking the contraceptive pill. At the time I had just completed my college course and was about to start university in the September. I started to feel unwell one day, and then suddenly had a severe headache which turned into vertigo. It felt like my head had just exploded, I was so disorientated and couldn’t understand what was happening. I soon realised I couldn’t talk and the right side of my body was completely weak. At the time I didn’t think I was having a stroke, I thought I needed to sleep and unfortunately I didn’t seek medical attention until the following day.
“The stroke left me unable to walk or talk, and I couldn't swallow properly. I had to re-learn a lot of very basic things we all take for granted, like looking both ways before crossing a road, cooking and coping in typical day-to-day situations. My journey has been a really tough one, I had to learn how to walk and talk again as well as trying to cope with all my emotions. There were times when I just didn’t want to live anymore; the struggle was unbearable at times.
“Despite my consultant saying I would never walk, talk or get my degree, I can proudly say I did all three! It’s been a long journey and there are still good and bad days, but thankfully I’m alive to tell this story. I’m very thankful to my mum who helped me throughout this all, and also my partner Dan. Dan has been my rock through everything and has helped me to stay strong and not to give up.”
“No one can quite believe I’ve had a stroke, and that’s why after everything I’ve been through, I wanted to help raise awareness of stroke. Anyone can have a stroke at any age, and I think more people need to be aware of the signs and the importance of seeking medical condition immediately. Stroke has changed my life within an instant, it turned everything upside down and is such a cruel condition. I hope that with the Resolution Run, I can not only raise awareness, but vital funds for the charity to help others.”
Amy Spencer, Regional Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It's the ideal event for people in the South West who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2019. We’re so glad to hear about Gemma’s recovery, and will be cheering her on at the Resolution Run.
“In the UK there are around 100,000 strokes every year. Our latest research (i) shows that by training and taking part in a Resolution Run, you are helping to lower your stroke risk. The funds raised by each runner like Gemma means we can reach out to more stroke survivors and their families to offer the support that they may need to rebuild their lives. On behalf of the thousands of stroke survivors and their loved ones that we support every year, I just want to say thank you.”
The next Resolution Run in the South West will take place at Escot Park in Devon on Sunday 24 February 2019. Participants can take part in a 5, 10 or 15K run.
Research from the charity shows that many strokes could be prevented if people made some simple lifestyle changes. Introducing physical activity into your routine is just one aspect of a healthier lifestyle required to reduce your risk of stroke. Monitoring (and managing) your blood pressure, eating a more balanced diet and stopping smoking can all significantly reduce your stroke risk. The money raised through the Resolution Run in the South West will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke.
Last year participants raised over £633,000 for the Stroke Association This year the charity hopes to raise over £850,000 to continue supporting stroke survivors and their families throughout the UK.
To sponsor Gemma, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gemma-green28
Entry fee is just £16. All runners receive a technical running t-shirt and medal. For more information about entering or volunteering at the Resolution Run, visit www.resolutionrun.org.ukemail email@example.com or call 0300 330 0740.