Fitness · fundraising · health · Medical · stroke · triathlon

How #StrikingBackFromStroke started 

I know some of you already know about my story but I thought I should start from the beginning as I am hoping to launch a brand new fundraising campaign for The Stroke Association. So how does this involve you as an individual? Well I am asking for your help for an amazing charity who believe in life after stroke. I am sure most of you know of someone who has been impacted by this potentially life threatening event so I am hoping that you will see how important this charity are. So whether that be through donating, sharing this page or just reading it’s all appreciated. #StrikingBackFromStroke started in a coffee shop with ideas being thrown around and now it is growing day by day all for a fantastic cause which I hope you can be a part of. 
I am doing 2 events this year and hoping to do even more. On August 19th I am part of a celebrity team doing the open water swim part of a sprint triathlon. Having never swam open water and not being a particularly strong swimmer this is a huge challenge for me. However, being selected is a huge privilege and I will be doing the event with Ali Jawad (Paralympic silver medalist). Then in October I am doing the Bright10 10 mile run which will be the longest I have ever ran. I have completed two 10km races for The Stroke Association in the past but wanted to do a slightly bigger challenge.
In September 2012 my life was dramatically changed when I suffered a stroke which initially left me paralysed down my left side. I was unfortunate enough to have both a bleed and two clots on my brain and to be honest I am very lucky to still be alive, let alone living the life I am now. After several months in hospital and being told that I may never walk again I proved everyone wrong and left the rehab unit walking unaided. It was after this I was diagnosed with Behçet’s disease. Behçet’s is a very rare autoimmune disease causing a range of symptoms caused by inflammation of blood vessels leading to daily chronic pain but this is usually manageable and mostly I can lead a normal active life.
Before my stroke, if someone had talked about one, I would have thought it only affected older people and all of the FAST symptoms would be present. I would never have thought it would impact someone who was only 20. In September this year it is my 5 year stroke anniversary. Having a stroke has changed my perspective on life and now I take each day as it comes and live life as full as I can. What I want is to raise awareness of strokes in general but in particular in young people. This is where my fundraising campaign comes in and I want your help. Whether that be by having a dress purple day at work, a sports event, bake sale or even a blood pressure check event. 
A stroke can have an impact on everyone, whether that be you as an individual, a family member or a friend. It can happen at any age and it can be brutal and life changing. 
My goal is to raise awareness and money for a fantastic cause and I want your help. 
Over time I want to grow this campaign and have many exciting ideas including tshirts, hoodies and sports events.
I have recently had to buy my own wheelchair and now am officially classed as being ‘disabled‘. This in itself is hard to deal with but I am learning to use this as another challenge to make me a stronger person. 
This does mean that training and doing these events is even harder as I have to consider my health and not overdoing things. 
I have some amazing support from my friends, family and girlfriend and really appreciate what everyone does. If you are able to help financially or even spread my story that would be incredible. I am not setting up this page purely to raise money but I want to raise awareness that a stroke can happen to anyone at any age. I also want to make people more aware of invisible illnesses and how someone may look well on the outside but on the inside they may be struggling. 
Lets fight back and conquer stroke!!
Lauren x

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