A TADLEY resident living with Parkinson's is set to cycle 250 miles in a fundraising bid.

Gary Shaughnessy, who is also chair of the board of trustees at Parkinson's UK, will cycle 42 hills across Hampshire and Berkshire, before riding from Bristol to London.

The challenge gets underway tomorrow, September 7.

Gary is taking part in the ‘GDNF Participants’ Unifying Challenge’, which is raising money for research into a series of proteins in the brain called neurotrophic factors, which could be the key to developing a life-changing treatment for people with Parkinson’s.

The Participants Group is made up of people who took part in a study that investigated one of these neurotrophic factors called GDNF (glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor). Overall the trials were inconclusive but a number of participants saw major improvements in their symptoms.

At the same time as Gary, teams all over the country representing the 42 of the participants from the trial, and made up of the participants, their friends and families, will each cover 100 miles or more in their own way, in a bid to raise £1 million.

Gary said: “Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. The need for a new treatment which could slow or stop it in its tracks has never been more urgent. Right now, there are 145,000 people in the UK living with Parkinson’s, as well as families, friends and carers who are all affected by the condition. With more than 40 potential symptoms, it can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“I’ve been continually inspired by the GDNF Participant Group and its dedication to delivering a cure. They, along with Parkinson’s UK, have never lost belief in the potential that GDNF holds to be a life-changing new treatment.

“Parkinson’s UK has recently committed to invest up to £800,000 into a piece of work to ensure that every possible avenue to drive GDNF forward has been explored. If successful, it could result in a new trial in the next year or so.

“By supporting my efforts, you’ll be helping to drive forward the research that’s needed to do that, and ultimately moving us closer to the development of a game-changing treatment.”

To donate, visit: https://bit.ly/3yOcBuC.