Stroke survivors to benefit from iconic walks in Tasmania

IF you’ve ever lived with someone who has suffered a stroke, you’ll know that life for the survivor and those who live beside them has many challenges.

After witnessing her father’s long struggle with stroke, Jo Cordell-Cooper knew much could be improved if there was more funding around for prevention, rehabilitation and support post-stroke.

“When I heard a doctor state that Dad was the most badly inflicted long-term survivor of stroke that he’d seen, I actually wasn’t that surprised,” Ms Cordell-Cooper said.

“Dad rehabilitated quite well after his first stroke, but two-years later he had another and it was a very bad one.

“He never returned home and the first nursing home he lived in struggled to meet his needs.

“He ended up living in the Roy Fagan Centre.”

Ms Cordell-Cooper’s father eventually passed away from stroke in 2005.

But with the help of two close friends, Tasmanian Iconic Walks was born – a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to raise funds and create awareness for the Stroke Foundation.

The organisation combines a team bush walking experience with a fundraising component.

Its first iconic walk – to take place in March – is expected to raise more than $25,000 for the Stroke Foundation.

“I had been wondering how I could help in a really meaningful way and I thought much could be implemented in the fitness industry – which I work in – if there was some funding around or someone to lead it,” Ms Cordell-Cooper said.

“As it turns out, I think I am the one to find the funding and lead the way.”

The concept of Tasmanian Iconic Walks is a simple one.

Teams of four enter the event, with the inaugural walk travelling 18-kilomtres from the Tasman Arch to Fortescue Bay.

“It’s a stunning low profile walk that will enchant locals and tourists, give them a goal to work towards fitness-wise and a fundraising goal of $1000 a team,” Ms Cordell-Cooper said.

“For many, such a wilderness walk is a big challenge and although this is not a guided walk, it will be supported with transport from Fortescue back to the participants’ cars and first aid/check-in stations along the way.

“We are hoping to secure some sponsorship from local businesses, particularly hiking companies and hopefully our participants will go on to walk more challenging hikes.”

Tasmanian Iconic Walks’ inaugural event will take place on 3 March.

Registrations are now open and are capped at 25 teams.

For more information, visit tasmanianiconicwalks.org or email info@tasmanianiconicwalks.org.

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