Stroke survivor plans annual Burger Run

Trankslink Banbridge inspector Linton McNeilly with Stephen Avery, stroke survivor and organiser of the Burger Run fundraiser.
Trankslink Banbridge inspector Linton McNeilly with Stephen Avery, stroke survivor and organiser of the Burger Run fundraiser.
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Banbridge bus driver and stroke survivor Stephen Avery is holding a special motorcycle run to raise funds for the Stroke Association.

The annual Burger Run takes place on Sunday June 26 starting at the Railway Inn, Banbridge. Motorcyclists will travel 85 miles from Banbridge to Ardglass, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch and Lurgan. They will meet back at the Railway Inn, Banbridge for a burger.

This year’s event will raise funds to support local communication and support groups for stroke survivors in the Banbridge area.

Every year more than 4,000 people in Northern Ireland will experience a stroke – a brain attack which is the leading cause of severe adult disability.

The Burger Run event, is in its sixth year.

Stephen, experienced a Transient Ischaemic Attack – or mini stroke – in 2008 when he was just 46.

“It was a massive shock,” he recalls. “I’d always been as fit as a fiddle so it was a wake-up call. I wasn’t able to drive for six months after my stroke. For someone who drives for a living and as a hobby that was really tough.

“That’s why organising bike events like the Burger Run is so important to me. Once I got the all clear to drive again, I realised how much I’d missed it and along with a group of mates, we decided to use our regular bike rides to raise money for local charities.

“I consider myself lucky that physically my symptoms aren’t too severe but I still live with the effects of stroke every day,” he said.

The Burger Run starts at 9.30am. Entry is £10 per bike.