Hampstead couple cycle ‘London to Sicily’ to thank ‘life-saving’ hospital after partner lost most of her intenstines

Bethia and James are each cycling 20 miles every day as part of the monster ride. Picture: Bethia Ma

Bethia and James are each cycling 20 miles every day as part of the monster ride. Picture: Bethia Manson - Credit: Archant

An inspired couple are cycling “from London to Sicily” out of their Hampstead home to fundraise and say thank you to a northwest London hospital.

Bethia Manson and James Gratton, both 27, started the 1,685-mile journey on May 4 using James’ bike equipped with a turbo trainer, which provides real-life resistance for the gruelling 42-day challenge.

After losing most of her intestines from inflammatory bowel disease in 2014, Bethia was diagnosed with short bowel syndrome and is using the mammoth ride to thank St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow for her treatment – including her original “life-saving” care, a recent procedure during lockdown and continued medical nutrition.

Bethia told the Ham&High: “I felt really strongly that I wanted to raise money for St Mark’s, especially in the current climate where charities are suffering.

“I thought it would be a good time to do something to help a little bit.

“James is very grateful to St Mark’s for what they do for me, because it allows us to live the life that we want to.

“So it’s great being able to do this together.”

Most Read

James and Bethia are each taking turns on the bike to ride 20 miles every day and they hope to finish by mid-June.

To donate to the fundraiser for St Mark’s Hospital Foundation click here.

St Mark’s Hospital specialises in colorectal and intestinal medicine and treats more than 50,000 patients every year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter