Murray Bridge local set to Stride4Stroke

October 15, 2021

Murray Bridge resident Max Merckenschlager will work up a sweat for a good cause this November as part of the Stroke Foundation’s annual physical activity campaign Stride4Stroke.

Max, who experienced a stroke eight years ago, has set himself a challenge to walk 9kilometres and row 2kilometres each day in November to boost his own health and to raise funds. 

The 79-year-old said his inspiration is to raise awareness of stroke in the community along with the importance of staying fit and healthy for your body and mind.

"When I had a stroke, I was fortunate I could walk and talk again within a few days, but I did suffer memory loss, depression and I couldn’t always find the words I needed in conversation," Max said. 

"I found it very challenging, but when my wife Jacqui and I joined a walking local group, it boosted my mood and motivated me to set goals. 

“With the help of my smart watch, I have been doing that ever since. My main goal is to walk the circumference of the globe - virtually of course.”

Stroke is sudden. It is a devastating disease that strikes the brain and can impact people of all ages. However, the good news is 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by managing blood pressure and living a healthy, active lifestyle. 

Stroke Foundation South Australia State Manager Luke Hays said one million strokes each year globally are linked to physical inactivity. 

“Our No Postcode Untouched research indicates that in any given week, 12 per cent of Australians are not doing any physical activity. In the Barker federal electorate, that means approximately 25,500 people are not moving enough,” Mr Hays said.

“I thank Max for getting involved in Stride4Stroke and leading by example. Boosting your daily moving minutes can make a difference to prevent stroke and other chronic disease. 

“I hope his story inspires others in the community to sign up and join the fun. It’s not too late.”

Stride4Stroke is open to anyone who would like to get active – at a safe distance and within coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidelines.

Participants are encouraged to set an activity goal to increase their daily ‘moving minutes’. They can choose any activity to complete within the month – from walking, running, swimming, cycling, an online exercise class or a goal in stroke rehabilitation. The options are endless and can easily be tailored to wherever you are, catering for those affected by coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Luke Hays added you can sign up for a personal or a group challenge.

“Stride your way, wherever you are. Help reduce your own stroke risk and support those in the stroke community at the same time.”

Every dollar raised through Stride4Stroke will have an enormous impact. It will help Stroke Foundation fight stroke, fund research and support survivors and their families at all stages of the recovery journey.  

You can support Max here. Or have a go yourself and register now at

Max on his rowing machine

Image: Max from Murray Bridge will walk 9km and row 2km per day this November as part of the Stroke Foundation’s Stride4Stroke campaign

Media contact: Emily Granland m)0408 000 409 e)