Dunloy stroke survivor, Raymond Kelly, along with his two cycling partners, Simon Corrigan and Peter Zagrapan, have raised £13,695 for the Stroke Association by successfully completing the ultimate challenge of cycling 500 miles and climbing seven mountain peaks in just five days!
43-year-old Raymond had his first stroke at the age of 38 which left him with aphasia as well as physical and emotional problems.
Since then, he has had further strokes but has slowly improved his speech and regained mobility with the support of the Stroke Association, his wife Denise and their two children.
However, not one to sit back and let his health defeat him and in an effort to give something back to the Stroke Association for their support, Raymond created the 575 Stroke Challenge.
Raymond comments; “The initial fundraising target was £10,000 but the public’s response to the Challenge was so fantastic that we exceeded this with a total of £13,695!
“I am so thrilled that I can give something back to the Stroke Association and help other stroke survivors get the same support and encouragement I did so a big thank you to everyone who donated.
“We are so very grateful.
“A special thanks to our wives whose patience and support we could not have done without!”
Tom Richardson, Northern Ireland Director for the Stroke Association states; “As the only UK charity solely concerned with helping everyone affected by stroke, the Stroke Association recognises the huge and overwhelming impact a stroke can have.
“Stroke is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest killers and the leading cause of adult disability, but far too many people don’t understand it or ever think it’ll happen to them.
“Stroke can happen to anyone at any time at any age but thankfully, for some people like Raymond, there can be life after stroke.”
Today (Tuesday 29th October) is World Stroke day and the Stroke Association is highlighting the devastating impact of the most common communication difficulty caused by stroke – aphasia, which affects over 10,000 stroke survivors in Northern Ireland, including Raymond.