My name is Darren Calder and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s around my 40th birthday. It took many years before I could face into the dreadful symptoms and side effects from the endless pill popping with confidence. This was helped along when I met Jayne back in 2009. Together we are both stronger.
Taking part in the Parkinson’s Phase 2 GDNF clinical trial from 2013 – 2017 was the making of me, it made me realise that I was perfectly placed to make a difference and do something positive with this debilitating condition.
I have real hope in my heart and a strong conviction to get GDNF back into further clinical trials so that we can prove once and for all that it does indeed have disease modifying capability. Once you have received GDNF and felt its benefits, only then will you understand what a life changing experience this is. It has taken sheer determination and absolute tenacity to get others to realise this potential. The loss of GDNF has taken its toll but I will not give up the fight.
For now and to give me the strength I need to keep fighting I have had a deep brain stimulator fitted. It will never give me the benefits of GDNF but it helps to mask the symptoms so that i can carry on spreading the word and fundraising for better research.