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Ilkeston family take on fundraising run to thank Stroke Association

Ilkeston resident Gary Mellors, 54, and his daughters are taking on the Stroke Association's fundraising Resolution Run on Sunday, May 6, to thank the charity for supporting the family after Gary's stroke.
Ilkeston resident Gary Mellors, 54, and his daughters are taking on the Stroke Association's fundraising Resolution Run on Sunday, May 6, to thank the charity for supporting the family after Gary's stroke.

An Ilkeston family are gearing up to take on a fundraising run next month for the charity which supported them after a life-changing stroke.

Gary Mellors, 54, and daughters Rosie and Mollie will take part in the Stroke Association’s five-kilometre Resolution Run at Rushcliffe Country Park on Sunday, May 6.

It is the latest step on the road to recovery for Gary, 18 months after his ownstroke.

His partner Jayne Caldwell said: “We were supported by the Stroke Association and it was brilliant to know they were only a phone call away. Now Gary wants to help others get the support they need.

“It is a challenge for him. He’s started going to the gym and whether he walks or jogs, he’ll make it round the course. He is so determined.”

Gary was working as an engineer managing two bus depots for Nottingham City Transport, and as a judo coach, when the stroke happened in November 2016.

Jayne said: “Gary shouted to tell me he’d lost his vision, but we thought it was just a migraine. When he fell to the floor and started screaming, I called an ambulance.

“Doctors found he had a clot on his brain. Fortunately he was treated quickly, which we believe contributed to his recovery.”

Gary lost all movement in his right side, as well as his ability to communicate, and spent nearly three weeks in hospital before he began speech and language therapy and intensive physiotherapy.

Jayne said: “Now the movement has returned to his right side, but his speech and writing has been affected.

“It’s more frustrating than anything else. Gary hasn’t been able to return to work because of his communication.”

A year on from his stroke, Gary walked Rosie down the aisle at her wedding, and even managed to give a speech. They will be side by side again during the run, together they have already raised more than £1,700 in sponsorship, including a £1,000 donation from Nottingham City Transport.

Stroke Association spokesman Julie Doherty said: “We’re thrilled Gary and his daughters are taking part. Each runner will help us support stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives.”

To sponsor Gary, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/garymellors.

For details of the run, see stroke.org.uk/resolution.