Each year, Castle Lane Day Nursery in Market Harborough chooses a charity to support, through its annual fundraising efforts. And this year is no exception.

However, their choice for 2022 is particularly close to everyone’s heart after much loved team member, Rose Darnbrough, was diagnosed with a rare degenerative brain disease last year.

Castle Lane Co-director Harriet Gray, explains why:

“Rose Darnborough has been a fantastic character in Market Harborough for many years. She has worked in a variety of nurseries, as well as running Market Harborough Gymnastics Club for well over 20 years. During this time, Rose has been incredibly passionate about funding for local causes and people.

Originally from Coatbridge, Glasgow, in Scotland, Rose has lived in England for over forty years but has never lost her distinctively loud and warm Scottish accent!

As anyone who knows her will know, Rose has always been very meticulous about children having good manners, making sure that the children said their pleases and thank yous. But more than this, Rose has always had a natural, fun-loving way to support children to achieve their goals.

During her time working at Castle Lane Day Nursery, she was well-loved by all the parents and children!

She loved singing – hearing her bellowing out ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ was one of my favourite moments! Due to her background in gymnastics, Rose also loved doing physical activities with the children. Rose loved lots a fun filled games, including the hoop game, runner bean games and more!

Rose spent a lot of her time in our After School Club, where she had brilliant relationships with all the children. She loved doing bingo with them – the children loved shouting out ‘line’ or ‘full house’ and Rose was just as enthusiastic!

Rose is a wonderful, loveable character. On a personal note, she has been like a second mum to me. She has supported me through motherhood and always been a listening ear. Her sense of humour was fantastic and she always had a brilliant, fun-loving attitude to life, making me laugh continuously!

Although there are so many laughable memories to look back on, the main one that sticks out was on my wedding day, as the register announced “Is there any reason why that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony?” Rose, in her loud Scottish accent, shouted out “It should have been me!” There was a room full of laughter!

Market Harborough gymnastics was a big part of Rose’s life. She dedicated every Tuesday and Thursday evening, as well as every Saturday to the club, for over 20 years! She has taught so many children to handstand and roly poly! Rose had a firm but fair way with the children. She expected them to give 100% and she definitely gave the same. 1000’s of children have been through the club over the years – all with their own memories and stories.

Rose has a loving and supportive family, comprising her husband John, daughter Sian and granddaughter Freddi. The family are incredibly close and share many fantastic memories.

Sadly, however, in late 2016, Rose began to get poorly. It first started with her arm. The muscles became unusable and weak. This then deteriorated quickly, meaning that she had no use in her arm at all. This is something Rose really struggled with. She was a fiercely independent lady who suddenly needed help with everything from getting dressed to putting on her seat belt on.

Rose was in and out of appointments to get this investigated, which, due to Covid, was delayed, as she waited to get the correct scans. Rose’s memory, speech and mobility then started to deteriorate significantly.

In March 2021, Rose was finally diagnosed with Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), a condition that none of us had heard of and many doctors knew little about.

Looking back, signs were missed, which we now know to be key characteristics of CBD. These included personality changes, sleep problems and mood swings.

CBD occurs when brain cells in certain parts of the brain are damaged, as a result of a build-up of a protein called tau. The surface of the brain (cortex) is affected, as well as a deep part of the brain called the basal ganglia.

Tau occurs naturally in the brain and is usually broken down before it reaches high levels. However, in people with CBD, it isn’t broken down properly and forms harmful clumps in brain cells. Currently there is no cure and the condition remains terminal.

Having deteriorated so significantly, Rose’s husband John and her daughter Sian took on the sole responsibility of providing her with 24 hour care at home.

However, due to lack of awareness of this rare condition, the correct support was difficult to access.  In January 2022, Rose was admitted to Kettering general hospital and after many assessments, the professionals and the family felt that it was in Rose’s best interests, both physically and mentally, to be moved into residential care, where her needs could be fully met, with round the clock care.

This means that Rose is now living in The Willows care home in Lutterworth, where I try and visit her once a week. Although she still remember who I am, she now has very limited speech, mobility and memory. Nevertheless, she enjoys having visits, so if you knew Rose and would like to visit her, please do contact either myself or the family, as we can help to facilitate this.

Rose has touched so many people over the years and now I really feel I want to give something back. We are therefore fundraising for a small charity, PSPA, which supports families and patients who have been diagnosed with CBD.   The charity provides support and information to people living with CBD while also funding research into treatment and ultimately looking to find a cure for the condition.

The charity is very passionate about spreading the awareness of the condition and making people aware of the signs and symptoms of this very rare condition. And following Rose’s experience, anything we can do to support them in their work would mean a great deal to us all.”

How to make a donation to PSPA

If you would like to make a donation to the charity that supports people with CBD, like Rose, you can donate via our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harriet-gray2

Alternatively, any cash donations can be dropped off at the Castle Lane office.

For more information about CBD

For more information about Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) and the charity set up to support sufferers and their families, please visit https://pspassociation.org.uk.

PSPA is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of people living with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD). They provide information and support for people affected by PSP & CBD whilst funding research into the causes, treatment, and eventually a cure.