Stroke survivor treks 100 miles across the Sahara desert for charity

Champions: Ashley Robinson (far right) with fellow trekkers in the Sahara desert

Champions: Ashley Robinson (far right) with fellow trekkers in the Sahara desert

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Wimbledon

A 30-year-old man who survived two strokes after becoming hugely overweight, has trekked 100 miles across the Sahara for charity.

Ashley Robinson, from Morden, shed three-and-a-half stone to complete a four-day trek and raise more than £10,000 for the Stroke Association.

Mr Robinson, a civil servant, said: "I used to tell people that obesity and bad genes run in my family, but in truth no one runs in my family.

"In February 2013 I weighed more than 27 stone. With two strokes already behind me I knew if I didn’t start to lose weight and transform my lifestyle, there was a high likelihood of another, or developing other serious health problems."

Mr Robinson had his first stroke when he was 25, killing a third of his brain cells. Ten months earlier he had dislocated his knee playing rugby and piled on ten stone.

So after a serious talk with his doctor, he decided to take on the mammoth Sahara challenge to motivate him to get fit, training on the South Downs with a friend.

He said: "I'm still a big guy. I weighed 23-and-a-half stone at the start and my blood level and cholesterol and health were as good as it had been before the stroke.

"So I was feeling more confident but I was still absolutely terrified."

Mr Robinson travelled to Ouarzazate in Morocco with two friends last month for the gruelling four-day trek.

Despite a few moments of self-doubt, he managed to complete the trek and climb the massive Chigaga Dunes against the backdrop of the Anti-Atlas mountains.

He said: "The days were very hot and the trekking was the toughest physical challenge of my life.

"However the rewards of losing weight, raising more than £10,000 for charity and conquering that desert with my friends was worth it."

In London 13,500 people have a stroke every year and around a quarter of all strokes happen to people under the age of 65.

To find out more visit

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree