James Wren and staff at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College in Altrincham, Greater Manchester are not just shaping young minds, they are ensuring that former students will never be forgotten.
Their pupils, Miles Stockwell and Jude Anderton, both lost their lives to osteosarcoma and are being honoured by teachers who took on challenges to support our vital work.
James Wren, a year six teacher at Bridge & Patrixbourne CEP School in Canterbury, taught Miles for two years in primary school. He shared:
Having taught Miles and shared countless memories with him, I am determined to do what he had no problem in doing, which is stepping out of my comfort zone. Miles and I had a mutual love for lots of things, but mostly sport, and it is only when I look back now that I realise he inspired me tremendously during our time in class.
James recently completed the Hyrox Challenge in London, a fitness racing competition, which includes 8x 1km runs interspersed by other exercises such as rowing machines and lunges.
In doing so, he has raised over £2,300 and counting for the Team Miles Forever Fund, and plans to continue this trajectory by taking on the Hyrox Challenge: Rotterdam in memory of his much-loved pupil.
After experiencing pain in his right knee, which had been attributed to a sporting injuries, doctors delivered Miles' heartbreaking diagnosis in November 2021.
Despite gruelling chemotherapy and hip-disarticulation surgery, Miles' cancer spread to his lungs and spine, and he passed away on New Years Eve 2022.
Back in Manchester, a team of twenty teachers and staff from Jude's secondary school took part in the annual Wilmslow Festive 10k and raised more than £1,600 for Jude's Fund - a Special Fund of the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Marking Jude's eighteenth birthday, his teachers completed the festive fun run in memory of the year seven pupil, who passed away in February 2018 at just 12 years old.
Reflecting on the motivation behind the challenge, they commented:
The Bone Cancer Research Trust is a cause close to all our hearts. Jude had such a huge impact on the lives of all those he surrounded with his courage and fighting spirit. Now, it is our time to carry that spirit on and celebrate his birthday by raising as much money as we can.
Louise Everett, Regional Relationship Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:
We are so grateful to this incredible team of teachers for choosing to honour their students in such a special way. Thanks to their inspirational efforts, we can continue our vital work to ensure fewer patients like Miles and Jude suffer at the hands of this cruel disease. On behalf of all future patients, their families and all of us here at the charity, we would like to wish you all a heartfelt thank you.
To support James' continued fundraising, please visit his JustGiving page below: