Charitable Project Spotlight - 40 B4 40

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

Runnovation recently heard about an awesome person doing awesome things to raise money for the Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation of Australia. Once we heard, we had to do a post to let everyone know about this awesome campaign and to assist to raise awareness about Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).

What is GBS?

If you haven't heard of GBS you could be forgiven because it is a rare autoimmune disease. The exact cause is not known, but GBS usually follows a viral or a bacterial infection. The immune system begins to attack and damage the peripheral nerves that are responsible for movement, feeling sensation and pain. In more serious cases it affects a patient's vital signs which means serious life threatening events can take place. The onset of GBS is sudden and unexpected and there is no known cure. Many GBS patients spend at least 3 months recovering in hospital and take between 12-18 months to make a full recovery. Some patients never make a full recovery and are left with muscle weakness, numbness and pain.

Introducing Jessica (Jess) Reynolds and the 40 B4 40 Project

Jess is a running coach, a primary school sports teacher and a mother of two. Jess is also a part of the Dunsborough Running Club. Jess started the 40 B4 40 Project in July 2018 when she set out to complete 40 multi-sport sporting events over the 12 month period before her 40th Birthday to raise funds and awareness of GBS for the GBS Foundation of Australia.

The motivation behind Jess' 40 B4 40 Project started after Christmas Eve 2016, when a close family friend suddenly developed GBS. Chris McEncroe, a father of 3 living with his family in the South West of Western Australia, woke up unable to move his body. Chris' harrowing ordeal included his heart stopping and his lungs failing. Chris became Fiona Stanley Hospital's longest standing ICU patient after spending 133 days in intensive care. Chris then spent 30 days in the Neurological Ward.

What has followed for Chris is intensive rehabilitation and therapy through the State Rehabilitation Centre but unfortunately, after 18 months, Chris has not yet made a full recovery from GBS and is still in a wheelchair with limited movement. This has been devastating to the McEncroe family.

So far Jess has completed a massive 34 events and has raised $6,510! Jess' fundraising goal is $10,000.

Can I do anything to help?

YES, you certainly can! Jess' 40 B4 40 Project will end on 12 October 2019 when she turns 40. That means there are still several months of fundraising and awareness that you could help to raise with this campaign.

  • You can make a charitable donation to:

  • Visit Jess' 40 B4 40 Facebook page at and follow her progress and any pop up fundraising events that come up for the remainder of the year.

  • Follow Jess' Project on Instagram @gbs40b440.

  • Go along to Jess' upcoming sporting events to support her! Jess will next be participating in the Perth City to Surf Run at the end of August.

  • Share the 40 B4 40 Facebook page on your social networks with your friends and family to raise awareness of the Project and GBS generally.

  • If you are someone that writes blogs, newspaper or magazine articles or works for any kind of media outlet please get in touch with Jess if you are in a position to further promote her Project in its final stages.

We have an amazing and supportive sporting community in Australia. Let's all band behind Jess in this final stage of her Project and help her achieve her goals!

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