Fundraising for young stroke victims

Maria Fredatovich is raising funds for young stroke victims. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Maria Fredatovich is raising funds for young stroke victims. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
There is little support for young people who suffer a life-changing stroke, says survivor Maria Fredatovich.

Sixteen years after her stroke, Ms Fredatovich has launched the Young Stroke Survivors New Zealand Fundraising Appeal to fund recreational and sporting activities.

Now living in Wanaka, Ms Fredatovich (30) grew up in Auckland, and had a stroke in 1996 while undergoing surgery for epilepsy seizures. She and her family endured a four-year battle with the Accident Compensation Corporation to have a claim arising from the incident accepted.

She had an excellent recuperation, exceeding the doctors' expectations, and spent three years in London, including travelling around Europe, before settling in Wanaka last year.

Both London and Wanaka were preferable to Auckland, because they were less isolating for people with mobility issues.

Ms Fredatovich was inspired by the recuperation this year of a 12-year-old Auckland girl who suffered a stroke in April, and she would be the first recipient of the fund in the form of a skiing holiday to Wanaka.

Ms Fredatovich has raised nearly $3000 since launching the fund in October, and is seeking sponsorship deals with businesses.

She visited Dunedin at the weekend as part of her fund-raising efforts.

Only 5% of strokes occurred in those aged under 45, she said.

Because they mostly affected older people, stroke support systems were geared towards an older demographic. For more information, visit:

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