A survivor of four strokes and a local Ulsterbus manager have cycled 500 miles around Northern Ireland and climbed the seven peaks of the Mournes in 5 days to raise £13,500 for the Stroke Association.
Raymond Kelly, a four time stroke sufferer and Mr Simon Corrigan, the Western Area Ulsterbus manager, completed the epic task with friend Peter Zagrapan.
“We cycled 500 miles on 4 of the 5 days, taking in the North Antrim Coastline, Derry ~Londonderry, Enniskillen, Armagh, Portadown, Newcastle and back through Antrim and Randalstown to our starting point of Dunloy village.
“On the 4th day, we climbed the 7 peaks of the Mourne Mountains,” he said.
When asked what the most challenging aspect of the 5 day challenge was, Simon said that there were two occasions when he and his friends found it difficult to remain motivated.
“Day 2 getting on the bike and cycling in the rain and completing 110 miles on the first day in wet and windy conditions.
“Day 4 of the challenge was also difficult when climbing the peaks as it rained all day,” he said.
Apart from his appetite for a challenge, what kept Simon’s enthusiasm up was the thought of raising awareness for the Stroke Association and helping those who have suffered from Stroke in rehabilitation.
One of Simon’s friends, Raymond, who completed the challenge with him, had previously suffered 4 strokes.
“I’m not sure what our next adventure will be, but I’ll make sure that we use the opportunity to raise more funds and keep increasing awareness about Stroke.
“It can happen to all kinds of people, old and young and the more educated people are, the better.”
Recent global statistics showed that strokes in the 20–64 age group now make up nearly a third of the total number of strokes compared with a quarter in 1990.
A study found that there were wide differences in stroke incidence between poor and rich countries, such as the United Kingdom, with strokes becoming more widespread in the poorer countries.
They also found that the United Kingdom falls behind both Germany and France in terms of mortality rates from stroke, measured against incidence, prompting calls for improvements in acute care.