Father of three, Liam Stapleton, from Chandler's Ford, has successfully completed the Great South Run in less than two hours for the Stroke Association.
Liam Stapleton, 52, a former secondary school teacher, had a stroke on Christmas Day in 2014. The stroke left Liam unable to speak and move the right side of his body. Liam has made a remarkable recovery. He has since lost over five stone and regularly takes part in local races.
Liam took part in the Great South Run on Sunday 23 October, raising over £1,000 for the Stroke Association. Liam said: “Two years ago I would never had dreamt that I could run a mile, let alone ten! The run was fantastic, I really enjoyed every minute of it.
“Almost randomly, I got into fitness following my stroke. Eight weeks of exercise and I was a new man with muscular arms, 50% lower on my body fat, and the most flexible I had ever been.
“I started attending the Stroke Association’s support group in Velmore in June last year and realised how lucky I had been. Attending the group boosted my confidence immensely. I knew I was amongst friends and could be honest about my experiences. Interacting with others in similar situations, gave me the strength to continue fighting.
“I feel so proud of what I’ve achieved since my stroke. It’s not been an easy road, but my life has completely changed for the better, and I’m so thankful to have had such supportive family and friends behind me.”
Michelle Bowdidge, Community Events and Fundraising Manager from the Stroke Association said: “With around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s around one every three and a half minutes - it is vital that we have people who can raise funds for people affected by stroke. We’re incredibly grateful to Liam for taking on this challenge.”