Inspired after suffering a stroke aged just 36, Tracey Groom from Watford is set to cycle more than 300 miles from London to Paris in aid of the Stroke Association.
Tracey, an accounts manager at A1 Stretch limousines, had a mini-stroke (also known as a TIA or transient ischaemic attack) in November 2003.
She had experienced a severe headache for around a week when she woke with numbness in her right hand side, her face drooped and her speech was slurred. Recognising the signs of stroke, her husband Tim called an ambulance, however she had full stroke in A&E that night.
The stroke affected Tracey’s speech and movement in the right hand side of her body, but her speech returned quickly and now, more than ten years on, she has made a remarkable recovery.
Already a mother to two year old Connor, now 12, Tracey was undergoing her third IVF treatment at the time of her stroke.
Doctors advised Tracey that the stroke was caused by prescription drugs while she was having her treatment, which prevented her from being able to have any further IVF.
She said: "The stroke changed my life forever, and I remember the night as if it was yesterday.
"Although it was good to have an explanation as to what caused my stroke, it was very difficult coming to terms with what had happened and the fact I couldn’t have any more children."
Tracey is now also mum to her adopted little girl and to mark ten years since her stroke, she wanted to do something to raise money for others affected by the condition.
Tracey’s dad Gilbert also had a stroke four years ago, after experiencing three mini-strokes, which further spurred her on to fundraise for the Stroke Association.
Tracey is one of just 100 cyclists tackling the London to Paris Bike Ride from September 3 to 7.
The demanding charity challenge starts in London, runs through the English countryside over to rural France and on to the heart of Paris, finishing under the Eiffel Tower.
She continued: "My husband Tim suggested I organise a cake sale, but I thought the bigger the challenge, the better.
"So I decided to take on my first ever bike ride and cycle more than 300 miles from London to Paris. I know it will be tough but I’ve been training three times a week and have an exercise bike at home to help me prepare.
"I want to raise money for the Stroke Association to achieve something positive from my experience. The charity supports stroke survivors to make their best possible recovery and does so much to raise awareness of this devastating condition."
Places are still available to join the Stroke Association on the London to Paris Bike Ride. For more information, please contact Nancy Lillington on 01527 903 501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To sponsor Tracey, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Tracey-Groom2/.