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Tassie trek organiser wins Stroke Award

THE mind behind an event that blends adventure, the outdoors and fundraising has been recognised for her extraordinary efforts at the Stroke Foundation 2019 Stroke Awards.

Jo Cordell Cooper, from Geilston Bay, was announced the winner of the Fundraiser of the Year Award after establishing Tasmanian Iconic Walks in 2018.

The event has raised more than $50,000 in two years.

Ms Cordell-Cooper’s father Ron was her inspiration.

He suffered two strokes and lived with very poor health for four years before sadly passing away.

After being handed the award at a ceremony in Melbourne last month, Ms Cordell-Cooper said her father would be proud.

“It is an honour for myself and my team to be recognised with this award,” she said.

“My father died from stroke 12 years ago, but before he died he lived in a nursing home.

“He had a very poor quality of life and to be honest, if he hadn’t lived for so long I probably wouldn’t have felt the need to create this organisation and raise all this money.

“But I’ve seen the devastating effect of stroke first hand – it never leaves you.

“So, this is about the future – it is about how we can help future generations at risk of stroke.”

Ms Cordell-Cooper said she wanted to raise awareness of the impact of stroke on individuals and families, raise funds and encourage people to put on their hiking boots and get active.

“Eighty percent of strokes could be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and there is no better way to work up a sweat than by walking 17 kilometres through the picturesque Tasman National Park,” she said.

Stroke Foundation chief executive officer Sharon McGowan congratulated Ms Cordell-Cooper on winning the award.

“Jo’s commitment to fundraising for the charity is to be commended,” she said.

“The money will go a long way to supporting survivors to live well after stroke.”

Stroke Foundation’s 2019 Stroke Awards recognise Australia’s unsung heroes of stroke.

Almost 70 people were nominated for an award this year across six categories: Improving Life after Stroke, Creative, Courage, Fundraiser of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and President’s Achievement.

For a full list of this year’s winners and more information about the 2019 Stroke Awards, visit strokefoundation.org.au.

Caption: Jo Cordell-Cooper has been awarded the Fundraiser of the Year Award at the recent Stroke Foundation 2019 Stroke Awards