Courageous stroke survivor Heather Smyth, from Crewe, reached new heights when she soared across the AJ Bell Stadium to raise funds for the charity which helped support her.
On the 8th November, Heather took part in a zip slide to raise funds for the Stroke Association, alongside Hilary Belshaw, Information Advice and Support Coordinator from the charity.
They each bravely zipped all the way across the pitch at the stadium, home to the Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks, raising more than £1,000 in the process.
A mother to two teenage sons, Heather 53, is diabetic and had both legs amputated below the knee two years ago. She spent months learning to walk again with prosthetic legs, and she was eventually able to lead a normal, busy life. However, Heather had a stroke in August 2013 which left her with weakness on the right side. Hilary supported Heather during her recovery, visiting her at home and helping her to overcome the challenges she was facing after her stroke. Hilary also recently nominated Heather for a Life After Stroke Award, in recognition of her courage and determination.
Heather said: “While celebrating receiving my Life After Stroke Award, Hilary suggested we take part in the zip wire challenge. I was immediately up for it, as I love an adventure! We both really enjoyed ourselves. I was keen to raise money for the Stroke Association in appreciation of all the help and advice we have received. I want to support the fantastic work the Stroke Association does, and to ensure they can be there for even more families who have been affected by stroke.”
Hilary added: “My role at the Stroke Association sees me support stroke survivors and anyone affected by stroke in South Cheshire. I met Heather a few months ago and was so inspired by her resilience and determination. When Heather was keen to take part in the zip wire challenge, I of course volunteered as well. It was a fantastic day and I’m so glad I took part.”
Annie Moran, Events Officer at the Stroke Association, added: “Stroke can be devastating, but with the support of people like Heather and Hilary we can make a real difference to people affected by stroke. The event was a challenge our fundraisers will never forget, and the money raised will go a long way in helping us to conquer stroke.”
For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk