Stroke Survivor to Run the London Marathon Dressed as a Pink Lady® Apple
With the Virgin Money London Marathon just around the corner, Berni Cooper will soon be pulling on her running shoes and our Pink Lady® apple costume to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.
Berni was “picked” via the Stroke Association’s social media channels to join three other runners to don our famous apple costume for the marathon.
Berni has a strong connection to the Stroke Association, after suffering a stroke in 2011, aged just 30.
While at home looking after her 14-month old son, she suddenly felt dizzy and collapsed on the floor, and wasn’t able to feel or move her left arm and leg. After managing to call an ambulance and arriving at hospital in time for critical treatment, Berni’s movement came back, and she received physiotherapy and support from the Stroke Association.
Berni said: “I feared I'd never walk again let alone run. But I made an amazing recovery. I value every step I take now and being able to run is so wonderful. I’m over the moon to have been given this opportunity to run the marathon and have a blooming good laugh dressed as a Pink Lady® apple.
What better way to raise more money and awareness for the Stroke Association, all while celebrating my life after stroke?”
Berni has always been a keen runner, saying her first memories of Christmas Day as a child involved presents and church, followed by a “fun run” around the woods opposite her house with neighbours and friends. Pre-stroke, Berni completed The Great North Run, 3 weeks before she got married in 2008. While in hospital in recovery from her stroke, Berni promised herself that if she was ever able to run again, she would complete a marathon.
Due to working shifts and juggling caring for her two young children, Berni has been slotting in training around her already busy schedule, which often involves training alone, occasionally at home when the children are asleep and her husband is at work. She said: “I have even taken my 18-month-old daughter out in the sport buggy running just to clock up the mileage, and it’s also great resistance training for wearing the Pink Lady® apple suit!” “
As they say: where there’s a will there’s a way. The fact that I’m doing this to raise funds and awareness for such an important cause is what keeps me focused, and I never forget how grateful I am to be able to run.”
Jim Swindells, Director of Fundraising for the Stroke Association said: “We’re delighted that Pink Lady® apples has chosen to support us in this way and we felt Berni was the perfect runner to wear the fabulous Pink Lady® apple outfit.”
We couldn’t be happier to have such an inspirational individual wear her Pink Lady® apple costume with pride in this fantastic event. We’ll be on the side-lines cheering you on, Berni!
If you’d like to sponsor Berni and donate funds to the Stroke Association, you can find her JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/Berni-Cooper