DAN Maitland-Smith has turned a tragedy into an opportunity to do good.
Maitland-Smith’s sister Bec Maitland suffered a stroke in 2016, which has permanently impacted her life. Since her stroke, her brother has been raising money for the Stroke Foundation. Just this year he has brought in more than $60,000, with no signs of slowing down.
Last weekend, Maitland-Smith teamed up with fellow Mordialloc locals to tackle the annual Stride4Stroke run for the fourth time. He formed part of the Training with Mates team.
Maitland-Smith said the event encourages other to get active and decrease their risk of stroke. “I wanted to do something to support my sister and encourage people to get active to reduce their risk of having a stroke and to help prevent them from going through what Bec went through. A lot of people think stroke only affects older Australians, but it can happen to anyone at any age,” he said.
Runners could tackle courses of 4 kilometres, 7, 14, 21, or 28. Maitland-Smith said, “It’s great to see so many people already keen to sign up to the challenge and unite for such a great cause as well as using this as a way of keeping fit.”
Stroke Foundation chief executive officer Dr Lisa Murphy has praised the fundraising effort. She said, “every dollar raised helps us get one step closer to preventing more strokes, saving lives and enhancing recovery for more Australians.”
“One million strokes a year globally are linked to physical inactivity. This means too many lives are being impacted by stroke unnecessarily, and research tells us just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce your stroke risk by 25 per cent,” she said. “We all have different abilities, passions and lifestyles, how you get active will look different for everyone, that’s the benefit of Stride4Stroke, there are no limits to what you can do.”