IMPORTANT TRIP: Calliope's Rodney Hopson is driving from Bluff to Winton sharing his experience and raising stroke awareness.
IMPORTANT TRIP: Calliope's Rodney Hopson is driving from Bluff to Winton sharing his experience and raising stroke awareness. contributed

Rodney lost his farm because of a stroke and now wants to help others

CALLIOPE'S Rodney Hopson knows only too well the horrible impact a stroke can have on your life.

On February 5, 2011 Mr Hopson's life changed forever when he had a stroke.

"We had to sell the farm because I could not farm any more," he said.

"When you work hard all your life and then you can't do it, it's a very devastating part of life."

Since his recovery Mr Hopson has been an advocate about the importance of stroke awareness.

Yesterday he set off on what he calls "Rodney's Roadshow", driving from Bluff to Winton sharing his experience and raising stroke awareness.

"My main goal is to narrow the city-country gap, which is far too wide," he said.

"Country people don't have the same access (to health services) that city people have.

"I've had a stroke, so I know what's it all about, so I'm going out there to try and educate them."

A recent Stroke Foundation report found people in rural and regional areas were 19% more likely to suffer a stroke.

Stroke Foundation executive director Toni Aslett said stroke could be prevented and could be treated.

"Monitor and manage your blood pressure to ensure it is not high, don't smoke, exercise regularly, eat healthy and don't drink too much alcohol," she said.

Mr Hopson said people needed to make their health a priority.

The Lions Clubs of Boyne Valley and Boyne Island are supporting Mr Hopson's journey, which began yesterday and finishes on September 20.



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