A heartfelt thank you to Marie Delaney and everyone at RAF Digby who recently took part in an extraordinary static cycle challenge to raise money for King's College Hospital Charity, in memory of Elena Betts.
During her short but happy life, Elena spent a total of eight months as an in-patient at King’s.
Born with a rare genetic condition called Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), Elena's digestive system didn’t develop properly. This eventually caused liver failure, and in August 2017 Elena received her first multi-organ transplant at King’s, receiving a new stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine and colon. Although only partially successful, the transplant enabled her to live a full and active life at home for two years.
Elena received her second multi-organ transplant in August 2019, but rejection set in and her anti-rejection medicine left her vulnerable to infections. Sadly, Elena passed away at King’s in December 2019, aged just three.
To raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit that cared for Elena, Marie Delaney and a team of 30+ cyclists set out to collectively cycle 528 miles in 24 hours – the equivalent of two return journeys from Elena’s home town in Lincolnshire to King's College Hospital in London.
Joined by Elena’s parents, Mel and Dan, the team hit that milestone within the first 10 hours, and went on to ride over 1090 miles!
As well as raising heart rates, this phenomenal challenge also raised vital awareness of organ donation, and over £3,000 for King’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.