Winchester writer takes on double challenge to support Stroke Association

A 60-year-old man from Winchester is attempting a dual challenge on land and sea to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Mark Ryan will attempt to swim from the mainland to the Isle of Wight on Friday July 15.

Then, after a rest day, he will cover the 26 miles between Salisbury and Winchester along the Clarendon Way.

Mark, a freelance writer, has seen firsthand the devastation that strokes can cause and wants to do his part to help the charity fund research into preventing and treating the effects of stroke.

READ MORE: All Saints C of E Primary School in Winchester celebrates fundraising efforts

He explains: “When I was much younger, I moved in to help a neighbor who had had his life turned upside down by a stroke.

“His wife had left him following his misfortune because she could not take on the role of carer and he could no longer speak.

“He was someone who had been the life and soul of the party a few weeks earlier. I never forgot that.

“More recently, I watched Winchester friend Keith Tasker bravely begin his rehabilitation after a stroke and found his positive attitude totally inspiring.

“He knows what I’m trying to do for the cause, and he’s right behind me.”

The “Hampshire Double” idea came spontaneously and started as a kind of joke.

Mark said: “Swimming to the Isle of Wight was an idea. Walking from Salisbury to Winchester was another. But alone, these two challenges had already been met.

“Then it came to me. ‘Why don’t I try both in the same weekend? Has anyone over 60 ever done this?'”

Mark’s swim will be 1.3 miles in total length and will take him from Hurst Point to Colwell Bay.

The writer continued, “I think a lot of people my age are starting to fear having a stroke worse than we fear death itself.

“This could happen to any of us so please help me try to do something by helping to fund research and also help fund care for those suffering from the devastation. strokes.”

If you would like to donate to Mark’s Hampshire Double Fundraiser, go to

Rebecca Miskin, relationship fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: ”Every five minutes a stroke destroys lives and it can strike anyone – young, old and anyone. who in between.

“The Stroke Association is here to fund research and help people rebuild their lives after a stroke, but this is only possible with the efforts of our amazing supporters such as Mark and we are so grateful to him.”

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