Staff at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust completed a three-day bike ride for endometriosis sufferers.

Consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician Bronwyn Middleton and surgical care practitioner Sam Roberts cycled 250 miles with a team of consultants, nurse specialists and trainees to raise awareness about the condition, which affects the lining of the womb and can cause chronic pain.

The challenge was organised by a trainee from Endometriosis UK, a charity which aims to improve endometriosis care.

It was supported by the British Society of Gynaecology Endoscopy (BSGE), which promotes training and improves standards for women with gynaecological problems. 

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Sam said: “The experience was fantastic. This is the first time that Bronwyn or I have taken part in the ride which is in its fifth year.

The Argus: They are eager to take part again

"The camaraderie that developed over the three days meant that the 30 of us started as strangers but finished as friends.  

“I had not regularly ridden my bike for seven years and it had been collecting dust in the garage. But I do enjoy ultrarunning and this helped with my fitness level and seeing me through the 250 miles.

"The bike ride was amazing and I’m so chuffed that we all managed to finish the ride.” 

Riders set off from Manchester and headed west to the North Wales coastline.

They passed the top of Snowdonia and then cycled on to Holyhead. 

The team then took a ferry to Ireland where they headed from Dublin and cycled up to this year’s BSGE Annual Scientific Meeting in Belfast. 

Bronwyn said: “I always try to do one charity fundraiser which includes a personal challenge annually and as a long-standing member of the BSGE and a supporter of Endometriosis UK, this great event was the chosen one for 2024. I also added it to my 50-to-50 to do list and haven’t looked back. 

The Argus: They cycled 250 miles with their team

“It was an incredible achievement, I feel proud. The team spirit and banter in the group was great fun, I learnt a whole new language.

"It was physically tough, but we had the most amazing support crew including a mechanical van and a nutrition van.

"The scenery was beautiful and I now have so many places I need to go back to visit and great colleagues and friends from all over the UK.” 

Despite being "gruelling" at times, the pair said they are eager to take part again and continue to raise awareness for endometriosis.

Bronwyn, Sam and their team have helped raise almost £15,000 for Endometriosis UK.

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Bronwyn said: “I manage women with endometriosis in my practice and refer deeply invasive disease to our fantastic tertiary centre headed up by Dr Rebecca Mallick.

"Rebecca was my trainee a few years ago and I am so proud of the excellent work her team does for women with this awful, debilitating disease."