Jayne Calder’s “Fab Four”

Dates: 3rd-12th Sept 2021

Method: Walking

Help Jayne Calder’s “Fab Four” raise money for Funding Neuro

The Fab Four

Consisting of Jayne Calder, Gina Wilkes, Caroline Smith and Louise Dadson.

So…… who are they and what is this all about?

They are family and friends of Darren Calder who has now had Parkinson’s for 19 years.

They have decided to complete their challenge by hiking a 100-mile section of the Cornish Coastal Path from 3rd – 12th Sept 2021 in support of Funding Neuro who have agreed to ringfence their fundraising specifically for a future GDNF trial.

Jayne and Gina are Cornish. Gina still lives in the heart of Cornwall and has kindly agreed to host this event, she has also become Jayne’s personal trainer ? Jayne wanted to reunite with her hometown of Falmouth by walking the challenging section from Carbis Bay to Falmouth, and this challenge has only served to strengthen the bond between the devoted sisters.

Jayne says “We are all connected to Darren via the horrible condition that is Parkinson’s. It wants to steal my husband from me, but not on my watch!! I see my life as supporting him to grab his reins, guiding his destiny to keep Parkinsons at bay for as long as is physically and mentally possible. Staying active is crucial in the fight against Parkinson’s so we have put that requirement to some good use and fundraise along the way”.

Jayne Calder is Darren’s wife and an advocate for the GDNF Participant Group who took part in the GDNF trial back in 2013, which was highlighted in a BBC documentary. It all started with Darren entering the pilot group section and being one of the first 6 to test the safety of the delivery device so that the main body of the trial could go ahead.

Darren started out receiving GDNF infusions into his brain unbelievably from a portacabin at the old Frenchay Hospital site in Bristol. This inspired Darren and Jayne to start fundraising to help with the build of the Brain Centre in Bristol which eventually became the home for the main body of the last GDNF Trial. Jayne says, “this is how we caught the fundraising bug.”

Gina has supported both Darren and Jayne on their Parkinsons journey from the beginning and has committed to a few of his crazy challenges along the way helping to raise a staggering amount of over 100k for Parkinson’s to date. With Multiple Sclerosis focusing heavily on her husband’s side of the family, Gina knows all too well the impact of these horrendous neurological conditions.

For their latest challenge they have roped in Caroline and Louise who are 2 very precious friends and previous HR Manager colleagues of Jayne “They propped me up emotionally at work during the GDNF Trial. The girls were caring and understanding of my circumstances, and this will always stand out in my mind. We have very much enjoyed completing some of the training(and various pit stops!) together, grabbing every opportunity to hike over 12 miles  has meant we have had real quality time together to share a more personal side to our friendship.

Jayne says “I am very grateful to Gina, Louise and Caroline for their unwavering support. I simply cannot wait to get this challenge started and am most looking forward to toasting our finish with a glass of Prosecco… or 2!! We will also be raising a glass to the late great Tom Isaacs along the way as we walk in some of his footsteps and marvel at this man’s achievement when he walked the coastline of Britain in the search for the cure for Parkinson’s back in 2002.

We're raising money for: