A YOUNG stroke survivor from Woking is preparing to take on a Superhero triathlon next month to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.
Trainee paramedic Lauren Bradfield, 24, had a stroke in 2012, at the age of just 20. She was left paralysed down the left side of her body, and was told by doctors that she might never walk again.
Lauren said: “Having a stroke is terrifying. I didn’t know what the future held for me. But almost a year after my stroke, I ran 10k for the Stroke Association, I was playing hockey again, and I was able to get back to horse riding. All the things I thought I would never be able to do again were possible.”
Lauren will be tackling the Superhero Tri on 19 August, an event which was created by British Paralympian, Sophia Warner. The Superhero Tri has more than 20 celebrity team captains, from Paralympians to TV personalities.
Lauren will join powerlifting Paralympic silver medalist Ali Jawad’s team. Lauren, Ali and another teammate will share the 150 metre swim, three kilometre cycle and one kilometre run.
Lauren added: “I have achieved a lot in my life despite having a stroke when I was only 20, and since being diagnosed with a chronic rare autoimmune disease. Each day brings its own struggles, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to challenge myself constantly.
“I’ve recently started to use a manual wheelchair when I am really tired but I am not going to let anything stop me achieving my dreams. This is a perfect opportunity to prove to myself and others that having a disability makes you no different from anyone else.
“I feel really excited to be chosen as part of a celebrity team. I have always wanted to take part in a triathlon and to do that with a celebrity makes it even more exciting.
“I’ve chosen to do the swim, which will be a big challenge on the day, but I’m making sure I squeeze in lots of training.”
Becky Beard, the Stroke Association’s community and events fundraising manager, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Lauren for taking on this grueling challenge; she is a real inspiration and proof that there is life after stroke.”
To sponsor Lauren, visit www.justgiving.com/laurenbradfieldstroke.