A team of healthcare professionals from Nuffield Health Newcastle are taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday to raise funds for the Stroke Association.

Joanne Sterry, GP Liaison Officer at Nuffield Health and 10 of her colleagues, are taking on the half marathon in an effort to raise more support and awareness for the Stroke Association, a charity that has been instrumental in helping Joanne’s family after her mum suffered a severe stroke, aged 56.

“I was only 23 when my mum suffered a massive stroke, for two weeks it was touch and go and when she did come round, the bleed in her brain left her unable to talk and with severe right- sided paralysis she is also unable to walk”, explains Joanne.

“For those who know me and my family well, my father has been her sole carer for nearly 20 years, despite his ailing health and him also having mini strokes, he continues to love, cherish and care for her every day.

“There are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK every year, which is more than one every five minutes and one in five strokes are fatal. Last year, I did say that I wouldn’t do any more Great North Runs and that I was retiring from running, but when my colleague and long-term running bud; Gemma asked me to take part again for this spectacular charity, I couldn’t refuse. It’s a charity very close to our hearts.”

After hosting various charity race nights, quiz nights at Nuffield’s Gym in Gosforth and raffles around the hospital in Jesmond, the Nuffield runners have already smashed their £3,000 fundraising target and hope to raise more donations for the Stroke Association through their ‘Just Giving’ pages this weekend.

The Nuffield Newcastle Hospital Great North Run team supporting the Stroke Association are Joanne Sterry and her husband Jonathan, Gemma McGlen, James Coultas, Phil Middleton, Bryn Corton-Scott, Glen Maughan, Alex Dolan, Tara Prescott, Fran Hall and Alice Dorkin.

Dave Shearer, Event Officer at the Stroke Association North East, said: “Each year we help tens of thousands of stroke survivors and their families through our range of services and free helpline, but we can only do this through the generosity of people like the team at Nuffield Health Newcastle. We’re incredibly grateful to them for taking on the Great North Run to support the Stroke Association. The money raised will help more stroke survivors and their families to rebuild their lives.”

To sponsor the Nuffield runners and support the Stroke Association, which helps those affected by stroke to take back control, reclaim their independence and live their lives again, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/joannesterry.

To find out more about the Stroke Association in the North East go to: https://www.stroke.org.uk/region/north-east.