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Family of 49-year-old who suffered a stroke raise more than £7,500 to help other victims

Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A popular nursery teacher has raised more than £7,500 to support stroke survivors like her husband after emotionally walking with him over the finish line of her 100th parkrun.

Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Lou Boyce set herself the goal of completing the final steps of her landmark event with husband Richard by her side ever since he had the devastating stroke earlier this year, aged just 49.

The couple and their four children, who live in Hethersett, have faced a tough battle to help the Falcon Junior School headteacher learn how to walk again, as the stroke has affected his mobility.

But in an amazing show of community spirit friends and family members have rallied round to support wherever they can, with the couple saying they have seen the “best of humanity” since the stroke on June 16 this year.

Never was that more clear than at the Eaton Parkrun near Norwich on Saturday, November 4, where hundreds of well-wishers turned out to cheer Lou and Richard on as they completed a feat that dwarfed any athletic triumph.

Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

“I’m totally delighted and overwhelmed by the whole thing,” Lou said. “People have just been putting money in my hand. It is just incredible, totally amazing.”

She said the parkrun became an important milestone to aim towards and give the family something to focus on in tough times. “In a way, I had the parkrun to keep me going,” she said.

“I’m going to think of what my next project is – I’ve started to think about his 50th in May.

“Small achievements and targets are important.”

Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN Lou Boyce takes part in her 100th Park Run to raise money for the Stroke Association after her husband Richard suffered a stroke earlier in the year. Richard was there to walk a few steps with her along with family and friends who took part. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The family’s motto ever since the stroke has been that “every day is a little bit better than the day before”, as Richard continues to make progress every day - even if it is just a little bit.

Richard said: “Before this happened I didn’t know anything about stroke. Strokes happened to people in their 70s and 80s - they never happened to people my age. It’s been a steep learning curve.

“I’m very proud of my wife, her achievement and her fundraising.”

George Burroughs, fundraising manager for the Stroke Association in the East of England, said: “There was such an outpouring of love and support for Richard, Lou and the family - and that’s so essential when it comes to people who’ve had strokes.

“What Lou has done is to raise an amazing amount of awareness of strokes, as well as raising money.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much support for one family.”

There is still time to donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lou-boyce

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