Narara’s Natasha Seneviratne is a Stroke Foundation 2020 Stroke Awards finalist in the Fundraiser of the Year Award category.
Natasha lost her father, Dennis Butters, to a stroke in 2019.
The loss propelled her into a dark place that she found her way out of by fundraising for the Stroke Foundation.
“I was in a bad place and grief had taken over me, I was barely functioning and crying all the time.
“After Dad’s passing, I started googling about strokes and how I could help.
“I came across the Stroke Foundation and read about the Stride4Stroke campaign and signed up straight away,” Natasha said.
Stride4Stroke is the Stroke Foundation’s signature event.
Taking place annually in November, community members are encouraged to become ‘Striders’ and to complete any physical activity whilst fundraising for the Foundation.
Natasha opted to complete a 500km trek, ending her journey in Burringbar, NSW, her dad’s hometown, raising over $5,000 along the way.
“Even though it was too late to help Dad, I wanted to do all I could to help other people and families hopefully to prevent them from going through the pain of losing a loved one like I did,” Natasha explained.
Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability.
For Natasha, channelling her grief into a cause that could help other people going through something similar, was therapeutic.
“Helping the Stroke Foundation pushed me back into the world.
“It also helped me show my kids the importance of helping others and that even though I was sad, helping other people can bring you happiness,’’ she said.
Stroke Foundation NSW State Manager, Rhian Paton-Kelly, applauded Natasha for her incredible effort.
“Individuals like Natasha go above and beyond to improve the state of stroke in Australia,” Paton-Kelly said.
“Every Stroke Awards finalist has a unique story to share, whether that is overcoming adversity, inventing creative ways to raise vital funds, or awareness of stroke, or advocating for improvement in stroke services at a state or national level.
“The awards are our way of saying thank you,” she added.
The Stroke Awards recognise the incredible individuals in our community who strive to make the future brighter for people impacted by stroke.
These include the stroke survivors, carers, volunteers, fundraisers, health professionals and researchers who are relentless in their mission to enhance recovery and make a real difference.
The 2020 Stroke Award winners will be announced on May 5.
Press release, Apr 27
Stephanie Deller, Stroke Foundation