Al Dupres, 54, a stroke survivor from Cardiff is set to take part in the Step Out for Stroke fundraising walk in aid of the Stroke Association at Roath Lake Park at 2pm on 10 June.
Al, BBC Wales’ continuity announcer, was on holiday in Texas last year when he suddenly couldn’t speak coherently.
“I couldn’t speak properly for 24 hours which was very worrying as I speak for a living. But I ended up in a teaching hospital in Austin and woke up with a speech therapist on hand who started working with me immediately. By now the only long term effects is a limp on my left side.
“My mum had a stroke which left her paralysed down one side. She really suffered so I’m so grateful every day that I can still speak and communicate and my heart goes out to those who can’t.”
Al has already raised £320 as he strives to make more people aware of the symptoms of stroke. He added:
“When I had my stroke, I just googled ‘waking up speaking a foreign language’. I wish I’d known about the FAST test, where ‘S’ stands for ‘speech’ difficulty as a symptom of stroke.
It wasn’t until I called my wife that she said I was probably having a stroke. So I really want others to be aware of the signs.”
Step Out for Stroke walks will take place across Wales from May to July 2018 to raise money for the Stroke Association to support stroke survivors and their families. Stroke is a leading cause of disability, and there are almost 66,000 people in Wales living with the after effects. For stroke survivors who are taking part it’s also a celebration of their first steps towards overcoming the challenges of living with stroke and regaining their independence.
Margaret Street, Director at the Stroke Association in Wales, said:
“Stroke strikes in an instant and causes more disabilities than any other condition. It’s a real inspiration to see Al taking on this walking challenge to raise vital funds to support other stroke survivors.
“Step Out for Stroke is a fun walk that everyone can be part of, no matter what your age or fitness level. We’re inviting the whole community to come to this fun day out and help us make it an event to remember.”
Step Out for Stroke walks take place across Wales and England this summer. Visit www.stroke.org.uk/stepout to sign-up to an event near you.