Emerald stroke fundraiser takes a new path
THREE years ago, Dan Englund was felled by a devastating stroke at the age of 39.
The father-of-two faced months of gruelling and intensive rehabilitation. And when he finally got back on his feet, he hit the ground running, literally.
A year after his stroke, Dan embarked on a 1000km FAST run from Emerald to the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, where he had received treatment 12 months earlier, to raise funds and awareness of stroke prevention.
During his run, which began on August 4, 2012, Dan stopped in at 20 rural communities, educating hundreds of people on stroke awareness and raising $41,000 for the National Stroke Foundation.
It was this huge figure that had Dan recognised as the National Stroke Foundation's Fundraiser of the Year.
Dan said he could not have achieved what he had without the support of the Emerald community.
"Out of the $41,000 raised, nearly $30,000 of that came from the Central Highlands," he said.
Dan said he wanted to thank the community and his major supporters who helped him on his journey.
"2PH were our biggest fundraiser and our top supporter, along with Lindsay Transport," Dan said.
"We went around to get sponsorships throughout the Highlands… Craig Pressler from 2PH told me to put him down for $1000, and then he caught me a week later, and gave me an extra $4000.
"And he said, 'I'll tell you what, if you don't mind, we are having a meeting with Lindsay Transport', so I went out and gave a stroke speech and they came on board.
"We did a private raffle - so Craig brought us two pallets of mandarins down, and we were selling them.
"He is the most generous person - I just want to give a real big kudos to Craig and all of 2PH.
"Barry Saunders, from QGESS, gave $5000 from his own pocket to the Stroke Foundation."
Since his stroke, Dan has become an ambassador and has dedicated his life to spreading awareness.
"Stroke is so hard to get over… with my faith as a Christian, I believe if you are given something, you can't keep that to yourself," he said.
"I felt like I needed to thank the people who helped me, and give hope to people."