Going distance together after stroke

Nunawading woman Shannon Nelson is not letting a stroke stop her from living her life to the fullest as she trains for the upcoming Melbourne Marathon.

The 46 year old will be joined by her biggest supporters, her husband Stewart and children Sean and Gemma in the 10 kilometre category on Sunday, October 13.

It’s the second time the family has taken part in the Melbourne Marathon. Last year they walked five kilometres just months after Shannon suffered a devastating stroke. The stroke left Shannon with limited use of her right hand and speech difficulties.

Shannon said she was determined not to let her stroke slow her down and is aiming to raise awareness stroke can happen to anyone at any age.

“Recovering from a stroke is extremely difficult. It impacts your physical and mental health, but also your independence, family life and financial livelihood,” Shannon said.

“Having my family run alongside me in the Melbourne Marathon means everything to me. We have all been put through the wringer since my stroke and have come through the other side, stronger and more aware of how precious life is.

“Their support has made all the difference and encouraged me to keep reaching for my goals.”

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan, who will also be participating in the Melbourne Marathon, applauded Shannon for her tenacity and commitment to her recovery. Ms McGowan added stroke was more common among people of working age than many realised.

“There are more than 140,000 Australian stroke survivors of working age, most living with some form or ongoing disability,” Ms McGowan said.

“Stroke attacks the brain, the human control centre, and changes lives in an instant.

“The good news is with the right treatment at the right time, many people are able to recover and live well after stroke. Shannon’s marathon effort is testament to what can be achieved,” she said.

Shannon is looking forward to working up a sweat in the Melbourne Marathon and urged other stroke survivors to set goals and pushing themselves in their recovery, even if it felt like they’d hit a plateau.

“I have learnt it’s important to pursue something that makes you happy. I was determined to go back to work, create new memories with my family and find a way to give back to the Stroke Foundation because it has helped me so much,” Shannon said.

Shannon and her family are well on track to reach their fundraising goal of $1000. If you would like to support Team Nelson and help the Stroke Foundation in its mission to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery, click here.

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