Friday, 17 May 2013

Belmore Court opens doors for stroke challenge.

Terry McCartney is no stranger to unusual requests at the Belmore Court & Motel, but he’s currently preparing several extra buckets of ice for some aching limbs arriving on Thursday 16 May!

His guest list for the night includes 43 year old stroke survivor, Raymond Kelly who’s set himself the ultimate challenge of cycling 500 miles and climbing 7 mountain peaks in just 5 days! All to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association charity in Northern Ireland.

Raymond, from Dunloy, had his first stroke at the age of 38 which left him with aphasia as well as physical and emotional problems. Since then, he has had further strokes but has slowly improved his speech and regained mobility with the support of the Stroke Association, his wife Denise and their two children.

Not one to sit back and let his health defeat him and in an effort to give something back to the Stroke Association for their support, Raymond has created the 575 Stroke Challenge. 

The ‘575 Stroke Challenge’ aims to raise £10,000 for the Stroke Association in Northern Ireland and Raymond and his two cycling partners, Simon Corrigan and Peter Zagrapan have been training for a number of months and will arrive in Enniskillen on Thursday 16 May.

Raymond comments; “I’ve always been an active person but when I took my first stroke I pretty much lost a year of my life. I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t really move and felt very depressed. However, I was determined to get my life back again for the sake of my family and so, with the support of the Stroke Association, my speech has improved and my physical ability has come back. I still can’t read properly, get my words mixed up and get very tired but I’m alive and getting on with things as best I can. I got the help I needed to overcome my stroke and so if I can do something to help other stroke survivors, I will.”

Terry McCartney, from the Belmore Court & Motel said; “When we heard the guys were coming through Enniskillen we were only too happy to open our doors to them.  Raymond has stayed with us before, and truly is an inspiration to the thousands of stroke survivors across Northern Ireland.  We wish Raymond, Simon and Peter the very best of luck in this amazing challenge.”

To support Raymond’s challenge, please visit or the ‘575strokechallenge’ page on Facebook. Raymond and the guys would also greatly welcome your donations and support along the route so please do come out and cheer them on.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Michelle Baird, Communications Manager at the Stroke Association on 028 9050 8051 or email

            575 Stroke Challenge route is as follows:

            Wed 15 May              - Cycle from Dunloy to Derry

            Thu 16 May                - Cycle from Derry to Enniskillen

            Fri 17 May                  - Cycle from Enniskillen to Newcastle

            Sat 18 May                - Climb 7 peaks of the Mourne Mountains

            Sun 19 May                - Cycle from Newcastle to Dunloy

  • A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. Around 4,000 people have a stroke in Northern Ireland every year. That’s one person every two hours. Stroke has a devastating impact on an individual, is the single biggest cause of severe disability in the UK and the third most common cause of death.

  • There are over 33,000 people in Northern Ireland living with the effects of stroke, including 10,000 with aphasia, a devastating communication disability caused by stroke.

·         Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke.  We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at

·         For many people a stroke happens suddenly and without warning and contrary to common belief, it can happen to anyone at any age – even babies in the womb.

The Stroke Association  Phone:   028 9050 8020
          Rushmere House          Fax:   028 9066 0720
46 Cadogan Park
Belfast BT9 6HH         Registered Charity No. XT33805

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