A Mum of three from Cardiff is taking on a charity run after she had a stroke at age 28; just three weeks after her first baby was born.
Melissa Broad from Creigiau is continuing her journey to keep fit after her stroke in 2010, by signing up for the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run in Cardiff’s Bute Park on 10 March.
Melissa said: “I am proud to be running in the Resolution Run as a stroke survivor, after experiencing the shock of having a stroke myself; I was left unable to speak, read or write.
“It happened just after my son was born. I’d had a really bad headache, but my doctor said it couldn’t be anything serious at my age. By the end of the day, I couldn’t speak and got an ambulance straight to hospital where a scan showed I had had a stroke.
“When I got home again, a co-ordinator from the Stroke Association came to visit us to share advice on what support was available, including for my husband, as a carer, which was so helpful to us at such a hard time.”
Melissa was told that she might not be able to have more children after the stroke. But with medical support, she went on to have two daughters.
Melissa added: “The thought of not being able to talk with, or sing songs to my son made it a very emotional time for me. But we got through it.
“Running has been an important way for me to get fit after my stroke. I did the Cardiff Half Marathon last year and have got more runs planned for 2019.
“It was such a lovely atmosphere for all the runners, joggers and walkers at last year’s Resolution Run in Bute Park. It’s great to help make a difference by raising money and awareness of stroke. My son wants to join us as soon as he’s old enough too!”
Carol Bott, Director of the Stroke Association in Wales, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It’s the ideal event for people in Cardiff who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2019. I am very much looking forward to taking part in the Cardiff run myself.
“In Wales there are around 7,400 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 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 all of the stroke survivors and their loved ones that we support every year, I just want to say thank you.”
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 Cardiff will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in Wales.
Last year participants raised more than £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.
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.uk email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 330 0740.