Inverurie Stroke Group gets high-tech help from a local fundraising hero

The sheer determination and drive to succeed that drove Inverurie man Willie Linklater to walk the distance from Land’s End to John O’ Groats to raise money for a local stroke group came to fruition this week as he saw firsthand the results of his fundraising effort.

Fundraiser Willie Linklater tries out some of the new gear

The challenge was met despite the fact that 59-year-old Willie himself suffered a debilitating stroke three years ago and had to get back into shape to complete the attempt.

Last July Willie began his epic journey, completing the 1,084 miles in 39 days, circling Inverurie and the Moray Coast and raising over £2,000 – well above his initial target of 1 £000 GOFUND ME.

Willie said: “Following my stroke in 2019 I attended a special stroke exercise class although Covid unfortunately stopped the sessions.

“However, it showed me the positive effect that such dedicated sessions had on my rehabilitation both physical and social.”

“I wanted to raise money for the self-funding Exercise After Stroke Inverurie (EASI) group whose mission is to provide structured, evidence-based exercise for stroke survivors.

“I felt like I wanted to give something back and the cycling challenge was the best way to do that.”

“On Tuesday Willie attended the Inverurie Stroke Group’s regular afternoon session at St Mary’s Parish Hall and saw for himself the new high tech equipment his funds have purchased.

“The innovative FitMi therapy program is an interactive tool for stroke patients that offers a variety of hand and foot exercises.

“It aims to improve the mobility of the hands, arms and legs after a stroke.

Inverurie Stroke Group Instructor Sue Leftwich came up with the idea of ​​buying the new IT tool and said: “It’s been a big hit with our group.

“It’s fun and interactive and we can’t thank Willie enough for providing us with the funds for such great equipment.”

Willie’s journey to fitness after his stroke was grueling and he credits his physio Jenny McKenzie for motivating him to succeed.

He was an active cyclist before his stroke but had to learn to ride again, “I used stabilizers for a week then we took them off!” he commented.

“After a start of apprehension, I started to take some distance.”

So, will there be another challenge in sight? “Never say never,” said Willie.


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Maria R. Newman