Paris proposal for Starbeck nurses on charity bike ride across Europe
Last updated May 22, 2022
Andy Dennis and Tracey Hill got engaged in Paris
Andy gets down one one knee.

A pair of nurses from Starbeck who are cycling across Europe for charity have made the trip even more special — by getting engaged in Paris.

Andy Dennis proposed to Tracey Hill at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and even had friends on hand to film the occasion and celebrate with them.

He said:

“Everything was perfect: the company was lovely, the place chose itself — there was a view of the tower framed by the trees.”

Tracey said:

“He got down on one knee and it felt like going into an exam you haven’t prepared for.

“I just kept saying, ‘What are you doing? What’s going on?'”

Fortunately, Tracey accepted the proposal, and the newly engaged couple have enjoyed some time in Paris to celebrate.

Staying in a hotel for a couple of nights is luxury compared to some of their other experiences so far. Tracey said:

“We’ve been wild camping on our way here. You’re getting up, you feel sticky, you’re in a field, there’s nowhere to wash yourself except with a handful of water from your bottle.

“You’re packing up and off you go onto the road – it’s so hot from about half past eight, you’re just so grateful when you go through a forest.

“We watch out for each other and push ourselves to drink even if we aren’t thirsty, so we don’t get dehydrated.”

Now, the couple are back on the road towards Geneva.

Tracey Hill and Andy Dennis celebrate their engagement in Paris

They have told close family about their engagement, and Andy posted the video on his blog about the trip, but it will be many weeks before they can celebrate with friends and family.

They don’t expect to complete the 2,000-mile trip to Gibraltar for three months.

The ride is the couple’s latest fundraiser for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), a medical charity providing support to people in conflict zones and other troubled areas of the world.

Andy has completed previous challenges as part of a bid to raise £200,000 for MSF, which he has worked for on four missions: Uganda, twice in South Sudan, and in an ebola centre in Sierra Leone.

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In his day job, Andy is a staff nurse on the intensive care unit at Harrogate District Hospital, where he and Tracey met. She now works as a nurse in dermatology at York Hospital.

Both have been supported by their employers, who have given them time off to complete the ride from Amsterdam to Gibraltar. The couple are funding all the travel, accommodation and food themselves, so all money donated goes directly to MSF.

To follow the couple’s progress, visit Andy’s blog or Tracey’s blog. You can donate to the cause by clicking the links from either of their blogs.