Monday, June 27th, 2016
On June 16th, a team of 30 gastroenterologists met at Newcastle University Medical School to embark on a bicycle ride. But unlike any other bike ride, the GastroCycle took them on a 300-mile route through the tricky peaks of the Lake District and challenging climbs of the Yorkshire Dales, before arriving in Liverpool just in time for Father’s Day.
The medics, who all specialise in treating gastroenterological conditions, were doing this with the aim of raising £45,000 for Core, the only charity committed to fighting all diseases that affect the digestive system. It’s an important cause: collectively, digestive diseases are a factor in 1 in 8 deaths in the UK. Core supports medical research to save lives, and works to raise awareness of digestive diseases, their symptoms and impact to ensure than nobody suffers through ignorance or embarrassment.
Among those who took part was Laura Neilson of the South Tyneside District Hospital. She said, “Core is a great cause and digestive diseases are extremely common – most of us will know someone affected. I’m aware of the important research that Core supports across the country; in addition to the vital work they do in providing patient information and support. That’s why I’ve been doing GastroCycle since 2014.”
Another was James Maurice, who is juggling a PhD in liver disease with his job as a gastroenterology registrar – but he left both behind for four days to help raise funds for Core. His efforts weren’t limited to just the 300-mile cycle either, as he arranged a roof-top cinema screening at his hospital as part of his fundraising push!
“I see the impact of digestive diseases every day and I don’t think liver disease has the funding or publicity it deserves, particularly when compared to other health issues. That’s why CORE and GastroCycle are so important,” said James.
Julie Harrington, CEO of CORE, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many doctors like coming together to support CORE. The event helps to raise awareness for digestive disorders and the funds we generate will be used to deliver more research so that we can pioneer new treatment and better understand the causes. It’s a case of pedal power in action!”
The GastroCycle rode into Liverpool just in time for the British Society of Gastroenterology’s annual science meeting, which runs from June 20th to June 24th.