Stroke survivors recovery reaches new heights on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

October 27, 2017
An eleven-year-old school girl, an Olympian and a father all took important strides forward in their recovery from stroke today, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Sophie Clayton, Sami Kennedy-Sim and Paul Fink took on the 1000 step challenge to officially launch Stroke Foundation’s awareness and fundraising Stride4stroke campaign. 

Scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb was an amazing experience for all of them especially young Sophie, who suffered a life threatening stroke when she was just four-years-old. 

Sophie’s mother Amanda said her little girl has the strength of 1000 men. Sophie was comfortable taking on the 1000 step journey to the summit of the Bridge, 134 metres above the sparking harbour.

“Sophie is constantly setting herself goals and achieving them and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was another demonstration of what is possible.

“While her recovery has been difficult at times, Sophie wants to help other child stroke survivors by letting them know the journey takes time and patience, but you can also make it fun.”

Stride4stroke is held throughout November. It is a physical activity challenge open to individuals and teams of all ages and abilities. Stroke4Stroke raises money for the Stroke Foundation’s StrokeLine, the only dedicated national helpline for stroke survivors and their loved ones in Australia. StrokeLine offers support and advice and helps survivors and their families to navigate their way to recovery. 

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said Sophie, Sami and Paul were a snapshot of the diverse Australian stroke community.

“Stroke can impact any one, at any age. Stroke happens in an instant, attacking the brain – the human control centre – changing lives in an instant,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Recovery from stroke can be a long and challenging journey, it is vital survivors are supported wherever they are on their journey. 

“Sophie, Sami and Paul are an inspiration. They have all faced enormous challenges and may continue to do so, but have not let stroke hold them back – as evident today conquering the Sydney Harbour Bridge.” 

“By getting active, you will reduce your own stroke risk and raise funds to support stroke survivors and their families on the journey to recovery,” she said.
For more on Stride4stroke, to sign up or make a donation visit

Stride4stroke 2017 is proudly supported by Precision Mail, BridgeClimb Sydney and Seek. Executives from, Precision Mail, BridgeClimb Sydney, Seek, MedAdvisor and TAL Life took part in the official launch to support Stroke Foundation and raise awareness of stroke.