Three brothers from Cessnock lined up alongside hundreds of runners in Maitland at the weekend to raise money for a cause close to their heart.
Trey, Beau and Declan Hunter took part in the 10th anniversary of the Maitland River Run on Sunday as a show of support for Australia’s youngest stroke survivors.
It is a very personal cause for the Hunter family after 11-year-old Trey suffered a life-threatening stroke within 24 hours of being born.
The brothers’ efforts provided vital funds for the Little Stroke Warriors, which partnered with Stroke Foundation to develop a resource specifically designed for families of paediatric stroke at the point of diagnosis.
This ensures parents don’t leave hospital confused and anxious about the journey ahead.
Trey’s mother, Candice, said, while his recovery had been challenging at times, he was doing well.
“[He] is an extremely determined character,” she said.
“I am thrilled they shared this experience and raised funds for the event’s charity of choice, the Little Stroke Warriors, at the same time.
“I have been involved with the [charity] for almost two years – not only does it connect and support young stroke survivors and their families around Australia, it raises awareness of paediatric stroke in the wider community.”
Stroke attacks the brain – the human control centre.
About 500 babies and children suffer from strokes in Australia each year and more than half of the children who survive have life-long disabilities.
Stroke Foundation acting chief executive, Toni Aslett, said many people were not aware stroke could strike at any age and even impacted babies in utero.
“More research into paediatric stroke is needed to ensure there is no delay in diagnosis and children are given the best opportunity to recover and live well,” Ms Aslett said.
“Trey is proof that with targeted care and support it is possible for young stroke survivors to thrive and achieve their goals.”
This year’s Maitland River Run included the usual mile course, as well as a four kilometre, 8km, 12km and a new half marathon distance of 21.1km.
More than 800 runners pounded the pavement to help celebrate the scenic event’s milestone.