Jup Brown is an ordinary New Zealander who has embarked on an extraordinary adventure to raise funds for the Stroke Foundation.
On September 1, the 38-year-old Wanaka plumber set out from Stewart Island to run all the way to Cape Reinga – 2,600km in 69 days, if all goes according to plan.
With a support crew accompanying him, Jup’s 10 weeks on the road will be focussed around raising awareness and donations to the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand.
His marathon effort, titled “Running New Zealand”, sprang from a desire to help his inspirational friend Nick Chisholm, who suffered a stroke in his twenties.
“My mate Nick Chisholm is a stroke survivor and an absolute legend. Nick experienced “Locked in Syndrome“ after a series of brain stem strokes following a rugby accident in 2000. This left him unable to walk or talk. But with the help of rehabilitation he is achieving incredible things every day, things other people take for granted.
“He’s pushing the boundaries of possibilities all with an amazing smile on his face, and everyone who meets him can’t help but be affected by his positive energy.
“As a keen long-distance runner, and inspired by Nick’s enthusiasm for life, I'm running the length of New Zealand to raise awareness of Nick and the 45,000 other stroke survivors in New Zealand. My goal is to raise as much money as possible along the way for The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand, to enable more stroke survivors the freedom to access a gym and rehabilitation, helping them to reach their full potential.”
Greg Wilkinson, president of Cromwell Lions Club, was inspired by Jup’s story.
“When I heard about Jup’s run I wanted to try and make his Cromwell stop memorable for him so in my capacity as Cromwell Lions Club president I helped organise a ‘mayoral reception’ for him – we invited people to join Jup for the last few kilometres into Cromwell and then had a reception for him at a local hotel.
“As a club we have had a couple of member’s families and one member affected by stroke in recent times so it’s a cause dear to us.
“With Jup having left town now I feel there is an opportunity for Lions Clubs to get involved and at least welcome Jup to their town as he and his party work their meandering path northward. It doesn’t have to be a big effort but is a chance to fly the Lions banner and let Jup know we support him.”
Follow Jup’s progress via his blog which can be found at www.runningnz.co.nz.
Donations can also be made via this website or text STROKE to 5339 to make an instant $3 donation to the Stroke Foundation.
Photo: Jup and his supporters arrive in Cromwell.