Elizabeth Kwenortey’s dad, Daniel, sadly passed away in June 2022, aged 77. He’d had multiple strokes throughout his life, which had a huge impact on him and his family. Now, Elizabeth is committed to fundraising in his memory.

Elizabeth with her sister and mum during her walk. All are wearing Stroke Association t-shirts.
Elizabeth (left) with her sister and mum during her walk

“I was very close to my dad. He was my best friend,” says Elizabeth. “He spent a lot of time with me and my sister. At weekends, we'd go to a specific branch of KFC in Clapham Junction – that was our spot. Every Saturday morning, he'd buy the newspaper and croissants for the house. That was our little routine.

“Dad had strokes before I was born and when I was quite young, so I think he'd always lived a life affected by them. But it wasn’t until 2009 that we saw the affects manifesting.

“I was 11. I had gone to sleep in my dad's room because I’d had an argument with my sister. All of a sudden, I heard a crash. I woke up and Dad was on the floor. My sister and I called an ambulance. When we got to hospital, they explained he’d had a stroke.”

The stroke affected Daniel’s mobility, leaving him reliant on a walking stick or frame to get around. This had a huge impact on their family life.

“I became a young carer, assisting my mum with Dad’s care. Sometimes I didn't go out with my friends because I wanted to stay home with my dad. Or I'd arrive late because I was doing something for him. But it didn't feel like a burden because he was so great to be around. It just became the new norm.

“It was more difficult to get him outside of the house, so the KFC, croissants and the newspapers stopped.

“But there was still life to live. I remember my mum took him to a church camp in Brighton. She was so happy talking about how they were just sitting by the beach eating fish and chips – like something out of a film! We also went to Ghana to see family. It was nice to see him with people he loved.”

Then in 2019, Daniel had another, much more severe stroke that left him bed bound, unable to walk or speak. His family continued to care for him, but sadly his health declined, and he died on Father’s Day 2022.

To mark her dad’s birthday in March 2023, Elizabeth decided to walk 77,000 steps, 1,000 for every year of his life, and raise money for others affected by stroke.

“Setting up my JustGiving page was simple. Then the lovely Charlotte, from the Stroke Association’s Fundraising Team, got in touch to see how I was doing. She sent t-shirts for me and my sister and mum who joined me for part of the walk. Her support really made me excited about it.

“The walk was a long but very beautiful day. I walked across London, visiting important sites connected to my dad, including the Ghanaian Embassy.

“Fundraising in Dad’s memory helped me process my grief. It allowed me to just focus on my dad and to show my thanks for his life.

“Knowing that the money is going to a charity who focus on something that's had a massive impact on my dad’s life, and my life, felt great. And I want to continue fundraising next year.”

In memory giving

Paying tribute to a loved one through fundraising is a meaningful way to honour their memory. Visit our
in memory giving pages to find out more.

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If you’d like support with grief and bereavement, we're here to help. You can also call our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.

Stroke News magazine

This article is featured in the winter 2023 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.