Staff and pupils from Stepping Stones School - which provides young people with special needs and disabilities high quality education, training, therapy and care to help them reach their full potential - are raising money for Brain Tumour Research in memory of a beloved classmate.

Piers Muddle (15), a student at Stepping Stones School and a much-loved member of the community, who made a positive impact on everyone he met, heartbreakingly lost his life in May this year after a heroic nine-year battle with brain tumours.

Alongside Piers’ family, staff and pupils from the school, a specialist setting for children with special educational needs and disabilities, have made a commitment to building Piers’ legacy by raising awareness and much needed funding for Brain Tumour Research.

In Piers’ memory, on Friday 2nd July 2021, Stepping Stones School will take part in a multi-location fundraising effort with a day of activities at the school which will honour all of Piers’ favorite things to do with a sponsored walk around the Devil’s Punchbowl, a National Trust property close to the school, and a cake sale.

Additionally, two staff members Matt Fuller and Matt Peel will take part in a 152-mile cycling challenge from the Isle of Portland to The Royal Marsden Hospital, where Piers received his treatment.

The most up-to-date fundraising total is £10,000, which would fund one week’s worth of research into a disease that kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to it.

Piers’ mother, Yvette Muddle, said:

“Our beautiful Piers very sadly died in May 2021 after fighting so hard with brain tumours since he was six years old.

“Piers is proof that research prolonged his life. He had the benefit of both new chemotherapy drugs and pioneering cyber knife radiotherapy after relapsing for the first time back in 2013. However, after relapsing again in 2019 there were no more options available to him to save his life.

“Brain tumours kill more children and young adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. As parents, we strongly believe that further research is still needed to improve drug therapy and other treatment options for brain tumours in order to save more children and young people.

“I want to thank everyone at Stepping Stones School for the continued support to my family and for their outstanding efforts to help us create a legacy for Piers by raising vital funds and awareness for Brain Tumour Research.”

Matt Peel, Piers’ form tutor at Stepping Stones School, has shared his memories of Piers and the fundraising challenge in his honour.

He said: “For me, this journey began in January 2019. I had joined Stepping Stones School and was given a tutor group to work with. Within this tutor group was a young chap dressed in blue chinos, a red shirt and a grey jumper who would go on to change my opinion about what perseverance and bravery meant.

“Not too long into my time at Stepping Stones, we were informed that Piers had a reoccurrence of a brain tumour and that he wasn't expected to be with us for very long. He was a hardworking student, well-liked by the staff, a real friend to his classmates, well-mannered and someone who loved walking and art, so to be told that his life would be cut short that suddenly was heartbreaking.

“As a team we vowed to make his remaining time with us as enjoyable and fulfilling as we possibly could. Portland Outdoor Activity Centre was the start of this. Watching him kayak, rock climb and enjoy the Jurassic coast was a joy to behold. He was receiving treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital and he was making the most of everything he could. Despite the ups and downs his treatment caused, Piers never complained or wanted to be treated differently, and he certainly didn't want to miss time at school where he would cook, paint and enjoy his time with his friends.

“Piers left us in May, nearly two years to the day from our original trip to Portland. We wanted to remember him by supporting a cause close to his and his family's heart and so we are raising money and awareness of Brain Tumour Research.

“To do so, we have set the challenge of riding from the Isle of Portland, where our journey began, to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, a journey of 152 miles and this will coincide with a day of fundraising activities at Stepping Stones School to raise awareness for Brain Tumour Research.

“For those who knew Piers, they would probably know his answer if we told him this idea....either ‘that's not far enough’ or 'whatever', but it's certainly a start.”

Further donations can be made on the fundraising page: Just Giving - Cycle for Piers

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