Julie McGowan, 47, from Maidstone, is taking on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 25 March, after her husband survived two strokes last year.
Father of two, Andrew McGowan, 48, had strokes in March and September 2017. They affected Andrew’s balance and left him partially sighted.
Julie said: “Last year was really tough for the whole family, but especially for Andrew. Andrew had his first stroke the same day his father passed away, and his second stroke the day after our 12-year-old daughter Ellie’s birthday.
“We’ve had a lot to come to terms with following the strokes. Andrew has had to leave his job as a quantity surveyor, and is still working on his life after stroke. He’s registered sight impaired, he needs a stick to help him walk, and he really struggles with fatigue.
“As a family, we’ve had to really come together to support one another. Stroke is now a cause that’s close to our hearts, and we want more people to be aware that it can happen to anyone and any time.
“I’ve roped in my daughter Ellie, and my son Harry, to join me in the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run. I want to give something back to everyone who has supported us through this really difficult time. Andrew will be in the crowd cheering us on, and I know I’m going to feel so proud when we all get to the finish line and see him.”
Becky Beard, Community and Events 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 Maidstone who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2018.
“Every five minutes in the UK, someone’s life is turned upside down by stroke. By signing up to a Resolution Run, each runner will help us do so much more to support stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives. We’re thrilled Julie, Harry and Ellie are taking part. We’re looking forward to cheering them on alongside our other participants as they makes their way through the park.”
At least half of strokes could be prevented if people made simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure under control, eating healthily and taking regular exercise. The money raised through the Resolution Run in Maidstone will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in the South East.
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 http://www.stroke.org.uk/resolution, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 330 0740.