Marathon challenge for Pontefract rower to raise funds for stroke charity
A woman from Pontefract is to row a half marathon on a rowing machine for the Stroke Association, in honour of her sister-in-law, who suffered a stroke just eight weeks into lockdown.
Determined Sarah Cantrill is hoping to raise £5,000 by rowing a half marathon (21,097m) for the Stroke Association - a charity who works to prevent stroke and supports those touched by stroke, fund research, and campaign for the rights of stroke survivors.
Her efforts are in honour of her sister-in-law, 39-year-old mum-of-two, Louise Foster, who suffered a serious stroke on May 22, just a few weeks into lockdown.
Sarah said: “Louise and my brother, Iain, live down in Bristol, so I don’t get to see them very often as it is.
“I got a phone call from them one night saying Louise had a stroke while she was preparing dinner, she collapsed and had to go straight into hospital.
“Within 24 hours they’d worked out it was a stroke and they had to operate on the Sunday to remove a blood clot from her brain. We're still not sure where it came from or what caused it.
“She’s currently fighting, she moved to a rehabilitation centre a couple of weeks ago, she’s been working on regaining her movement since losing all movement in her right side and her speech after the stroke.
“Unfortunately her family weren't able to visit her and, due to the pandemic, she was in intensive care for three weeks before anyone was allowed in to see her.
“She’s now able to walk with the aid of people at her side and has regained some of her speech.”
Heartbroken by being unable to see her sister-in-law and her family in their time of need, Sarah wanted to do something to help raise money and awareness for the Stroke Association.
Sarah’s husband, Josh, who rows competitively for Doncaster Rowing Club, suggested she take part in a sponsored row.
After she agreed, Josh assessed Sarah’s capabilities on the couple’s rowing machine and deduced that she could complete a half marathon in under two hours.
Sarah’s row will take place on Saturday, August 22, exactly three months after Louise’s stroke. She decided to wait before taking action, so Louise can be made aware of her efforts.
Sarah said: “I was supposed to be running for Race for Life, but with that being cancelled, rowing is becoming something I can focus on and do to help.
“I want to do the row over a Facebook live session, so those who have donated can watch me, depending on the weather I’ll either be rowing on my patio or in my living room.
“With more donations and support from you, Louise, Iain, and their children, Rebecca and Oliver can begin to rebuild their lives.”
To donate to Sarah's cause click here