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Fundraiser of the Year Award

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This award recognises fundraisers who have gone above and beyond to help raise awareness and funds for stroke in Australia. It is open to individuals who have fundraised for the Stroke Foundation.

2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award finalists

  • Lee Carseldine and David Genat

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Winner

    Lee's family has been profoundly impacted by stroke. His father Stuart requires ongoing care after a stroke 15 years ago and his mum Elizabeth suffered a stroke while Lee was a contestant on the reality television show Australian Survivor All Stars. While Lee left the…

    Lee's family has been profoundly impacted by stroke. His father Stuart requires ongoing care after a stroke 15 years ago and his mum Elizabeth suffered a stroke while Lee was a contestant on the reality television show Australian Survivor All Stars. While Lee left the program immediately after hearing the news, Elizabeth sadly passed away before Lee boarded the plane home.  

    With the help of fellow Survivor contestant David Genat, the Towel Challenge was created as a way of honouring Elizabeth, raising awareness of stroke and funds for Stroke Foundation. The Towel Challenge launched in March 2020 and was a simple call to action to the public to take a photo of themselves in a towel and post it to social media with the hashtag #towelchallenge.  Participates were encouraged to donate to the Stroke Foundation and nominate friends to get involved. Lee and David also created a calendar with the help of their Survivor All Stars castmates and a group of stroke survivors. The pair raised almost $50,000.  

     

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising at the Stroke Foundation?  

    David: I got to know Lee  through Australian Survivor, witnessing first-hand the impact of stroke on his family.  I learnt that it is possible to make a good recovery from stroke for many people if it is treated quickly. . I wanted to get as many eyes as possible on the work the Stroke Foundation is doing to help prevent and treat stroke, so more people don’t have to experience what Lee and his family have gone through.

     

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?  


    Lee: For me, fundraising was important as it was as much as raising awareness of stroke and helping me process the loss of my mother.  I wanted to turn my situation into something positive to help others. 

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  • Ash Van Weensveen and Adam Hills

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Finalist

    Ash returned home to Melbourne from the United Kingdom when his father suffered a massive stroke. Like all returning travellers at the time, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ash moved into hotel quarantine for two weeks. Sadly his father passed away before Ash could…

    Ash returned home to Melbourne from the United Kingdom when his father suffered a massive stroke. Like all returning travellers at the time, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ash moved into hotel quarantine for two weeks. Sadly his father passed away before Ash could see him. Ash decided to run a marathon in his hotel room to honour his father and connected online with comedian Adam Hills who was also in quarantine to join his effort. Together the pair raised more than $18,000 for Stroke Foundation.  

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?

    Ash: A mate back in the UK told me Adam Hills was also in hotel quarantine and was running 5km in his room. So I thought, great. Slightly mad running back and forward but if he is doing it, I’ll give it a try too. During the run I was thinking right, do this every day for something to do. Then the mind started wandering and next thing you know, I made contact with Adam to see if he wanted to run together and we raise monies for the Stroke Foundation in memory of my Dad.

    Adam: Whilst quarantining in Melbourne I was contacted by Ash, who was quarantining in a separate hotel. He had come back to see his Dad who was in Hospital after having a stroke, and said he wanted to run a Marathon in his room for The Stroke Foundation. I then said I'd help out by doing 5k a day.

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?

    Ash: The whole exercise of raising the funds was very much a healing process and a great way to deal with the grief and frustration I was experiencing in not being able to be with my family. The messages from friends I haven’t seen for years, from people I didn’t even know but had gone through shared experiences of losing loved ones to a stroke and also seeing the increased monies raised knowing it was going to be used in a useful manner and help others - it all provided comfort, support and encouragement to raise the profile of what we were doing. I think Adam and I fed off this positivity and to be honest, the running of the marathon was easy and even enjoyable. Listening to great tunes, sharing the experience through social media, seeing more people interacting and donating with the tally increasing by the hour, just kept feeding the adrenaline to keep going.

    Adam: At first the fundraising gave me something positive and constructive to do in quarantine, but as the donations came in it gave me huge satisfaction to see the money being raised. It also made me happy to see how much Ash was getting out of it in such a tough situation.

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  • Daniel Maitland

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Finalist

    Daniel took his Stride4Stroke involvement in 2020 to the next level. He created the 'TWM Stride4Stroke' team, encouraging friends and personal training clients to join and take part in a bayside relay. Dan's inspiration was his sister Bec, who had a stroke when she was…

    Daniel took his Stride4Stroke involvement in 2020 to the next level. He created the 'TWM Stride4Stroke' team, encouraging friends and personal training clients to join and take part in a bayside relay. Dan's inspiration was his sister Bec, who had a stroke when she was just 28. Dan wanted to raise awareness that stroke can happen at any age and that it has many invisible side effects such as fatigue and mental health challenges. 

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising at the Stroke Foundation?   
    Bec was a successful, healthy and beautiful paramedic who took life on with her rare sense of optimism, fun and a relaxed attitude. But her stroke changed her life.  

    Through the relay, we wanted more people to learn about stroke and, show greater kindness and empathy towards those who may seem a bit different, slow or inappropriate - you just never know what they have been through. .  

    Bec was so incredibly lucky to have such a supportive network and family - something that isn’t as evident for some other survivors. We want to be involved in supporting Stroke Foundation programs that could change this.
     
     

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?  
    The best part of fundraising for Stride4Stroke in 2020 was that it brought a sense of community togetherness and spread optimism during a very isolating period in our lives during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

    The money we raised was incredible, however the best part of the fundraising was the awareness we raised. Our team had so many shared experiences - from survivors of stroke sharing their stories, to clients who had experienced stroke or had family or friends who'd had a stroke. It prompted people to reach out to those they knew were doing it tough and although we are only a small community - hopefully we made a big difference to some people’s lives.  

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  • Jamie and Steve Fitzcarlos

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Finalist

    Jamie suffered a stroke in 2017 while working from home. Luckily, her   husband, Steve, happened to be home, recognised the F.A.S.T. (Face.Arms.Speech.Time) signs and called triple zero (000) for help. The quick response saved Jamie's life. .Three years on,  Jamie and Steve e created a…

    Jamie suffered a stroke in 2017 while working from home. Luckily, her   husband, Steve, happened to be home, recognised the F.A.S.T. (Face.Arms.Speech.Time) signs and called triple zero (000) for help. The quick response saved Jamie's life. .Three years on,  Jamie and Steve e created a fundraising page event called The Fitzy’s Fifty, setting themselves a goal to run a 50km Ultra Marathon. Completing the challenge was a huge physical and mental achievement for Jamie and their efforts raised more than $7000 for Stroke Foundation.  

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising at the Stroke Foundation? 

    As a young, fit and healthy survivor of stroke, I'm passionate about promoting Stroke awareness and the F.A.S.T. message in the hope it might save another life or reduce the impact of stroke through timely treatment. Last year, recognising that the Foundation would be impacted by a lack of organised running events and fundraising opportunities, Steve and I decided to stage our own endurance trail run to raise some funds. We were absolutely blown away by the support. We set out to raise $1,000 initially but finished with over $7,000.  

     

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation? 

    It gives me a sense of achievement and giving back. Both my family and I benefited immensely from the assets, resources and support we received from the Stroke Foundation, and as a StrokeSafe Speaker I also see the impact of the educational sessions and community events in spreading the F.A.S.T. message.  

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  • Cody and Jordyn Freeman

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Finalist

    Jordyn and Cody's grandfather (Poppy) suffered a stroke in 2020 and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Canberra for recovery. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions the family were unable to get from Melbourne to Canberra to see him. As a result, Jordyn and…

    Jordyn and Cody's grandfather (Poppy) suffered a stroke in 2020 and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Canberra for recovery. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions the family were unable to get from Melbourne to Canberra to see him. As a result, Jordyn and Cody came up with an idea to show their support to Poppy by committing to covering 666km in 66 days.666km was the distance between them. They covered this distance through running, cycling and walking. 

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising at the Stroke Foundation?
    We decided we should do something virtually to honour Poppy because we were unable to see him. . We hoped to raise $6,666 for the Stroke Foundation by covering 666km. We managed to achieve all our goals.

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?
    As we were in a strict coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown during the first half of our fundraiser, it helped keep us fit and healthy. We had a goal that we wanted to reach, and we had people donating to our cause, keeping us accountable to make our target. It was definitely hard for us to keep motivated during such a hard time, but we knew that we were doing it for ourselves and our grandfather.  

     

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  • Team Regis

    2021 Fundraiser of the Year Award Finalist

    Team Regis consisted of 63 team members across the different Regis Aged Care Homes in Australia. It was created after much-loved staff member, Max, had a stroke at work. Fortunately, his colleague Stan found him and called for an ambulance. In support of Max, Team…
    Team Regis consisted of 63 team members across the different Regis Aged Care Homes in Australia. It was created after much-loved staff member, Max, had a stroke at work. Fortunately, his colleague Stan found him and called for an ambulance. In support of Max, Team Regis came together to participate in the Stroke Foundation’s physical activity campaign Stride4Stroke. They demonstrated true passion, commitment and dedication to move 3,500 km collectively, raising almost $15,000. Team Regis also held a virtual quiz night and hosted a StrokeSafe Speaker to raise awareness of stroke. 

    What prompted you to get involved in fundraising at the Stroke Foundation?
    We felt  lucky that Stan recognised Max had suffered a stroke and called triple zero (000) for help. We are grateful that the stroke ambulance came with the necessary specialist clinicians, paramedic and equipment on board. Max also had exceptional care in hospital.  

    In support of Max, Team Regis came together to participate in Stride4Stroke. We are proud of the passion, commitment and dedication of Team Regis and the support of our community. 

    What do you get personally out of fundraising for the Stroke Foundation?
    We know that Stroke is one of Australia's biggest killers, killing more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. As a leader in the aged care industry, we want to be at the forefront of supporting the Stroke Foundation. Through this experience, we recognised we all need to be educated on stroke risk factors, symptoms and response. We are now educating ourselves on stroke recovery. We stand with our colleague, and our wider community who have been touched by stroke to build awareness and contribute to stroke prevention and research.  

    Stan: “I was lucky and thankful to be able to find Max in time and get him the assistance he needed. My prayers, thoughts and wishes are with Max and his family for a quick recovery.”

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