A PARKINSON’S disease sufferer who took part in a pioneering drug trial has vowed to get the drug to market.

Vicki Dillon, who lives in Hexham, was one of 42 patients worldwide to have a protein called glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) delivered via catheters surgically implanted in her brain.

She appeared in The Parkinson’s Drug Trial: A Miracle Cure? on BBC Two last week, with part two airing tonight.

While there were some encouraging signs of improvements in those receiving GDNF; assessments showed no significant difference between the active treatment group and those who received placebo.

However, results from brain scans revealed promising effects on damaged brain cells.

Professor Steven Gill, lead neurosurgeon and designer of the delivery system, explained that there was evidence of patient improvement at a low dose, and now a new trial using higher doses urgently needed funding to go ahead.

Around £4m is needed to fund a trial with a higher dose, and Vicki, who won an award for her Parkinson’s fund-raising last year, is determined to play her part and carry on the work of the late Tom Isaacs, who founded the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and was a close friend of Vicki’s.

She said: “I would like to raise £1m.

“I know that sounds ridiculous but my belief is to aim high.

“I want to do another ‘Parkie in the Park’ music event like the one I organised in 2011.

“If anybody would like to jump out of an airplane for me, that would be great!

“We need help with fund-raising events and ideas.

“I’m so determined to help get this drug to market, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll get it.

“My desire is to continue Tom’s work is stronger than ever so that one day we can say ‘I used to have Parkinson’s’.”