IN May of 2018, Tameeka Krause’s life changed forever when her father suffered a large stroke.
“My son Logan was there at the time and it was he who alerted my mum that dad had collapsed,” the Dodges Ferry local said.
“While he thankfully survived, dad lost the use of 15 per cent of the left side of his brain – he’s lost a lot of strength and movement from his left side and it has also affected his speech.”
Apart from the death of her nan when she was very young, this is the first time Ms Krause has come face-to-face with the realities of stroke.
“I knew a bit about stroke, but this experience has certainly opened my eyes to the impact it can have, not only on the survivor but also the friends and family,” she said.
“For Dad, he has lost his ability to work and do the things he loves.
“Going from an active man who has worked so hard running his own business to be struck down and unable to work has been a huge impact to his life.
“His recovery is slow, but he has achieved so much over the past 17 months and we couldn’t be prouder.”
Ms Krause said from a family perspective, it was now a different experience being around her father.
“On his good days, it’s like having my old dad back, but on bad days it’s really hard to see him struggle,” she said.
“And even though I still idolise and love him dearly, the relationship is now slightly different to what it used to be – you’d go to your father with all your problems, whereas now you don’t want to burden him with your problems.”
In an effort to show her support and raise awareness about the impact of stroke, Ms Krause is strapping on her walking shoes and getting involved with the Stroke Foundation’s signature fundraising event, Stride4Stroke.
Held across the entire month of November, the event encourages the community to set an activity goal for the month, reducing the risk of stroke and raising funds to support stroke survivors.
Participants simply need to register, set their own activity goal and fundraising target to complete in the month, and go for it.
No goal is too small.
Stroke Foundation chief executive officer Sharon McGowan said one in four of us would experience a stroke in our lifetime.
“There is one stroke in Australia every nine minutes,” she said.
“Stroke is no longer a death sentence for many, but for the stroke survivors and their families living in our community, its impact is often far reaching.
“With your support, we will stand alongside stroke survivors and their families.
“We will support survivors and their families to live well after stroke.”
Ms Krause has set her goal to walk five kilometres a day.
“This is both a bit of fun and also a bit of a challenge for me,” Ms Krause said.
“So many people are affected by stroke but not many actually talk about it, so I think it’s really important to have events such as this that raise that awareness.
“We are able to do something that is so little, but which can have a big impact by showing the true realities of stroke.”
Every dollar raised through Stride4Stroke will have an enormous impact, going towards vital Stroke Foundation programs like the free telephone advice service StrokeLine (1800 787 653) and the EnableMe online support service, which helps survivors and their family transition to life back home after stroke and throughout the recovery journey.
To register for Stride4Stroke, visit www.stride4stroke.org.au.
To help Ms Krause reach her Stride4Stroke goal, donate at www.stride4stroke.org.au/fundraisers/tameekakrause.
Caption: Dodges Ferry local Tameeka Krause with her two children Willow, six, and Logan, eight.