When Steven Peters learned he had terminal cancer, he decided to live life to the full – and set about fulfilling his personal bucket list.
The 37-year-old Dundee music teacher died at Roxburghe House – but not before he achieved many of his ambitions.
In the two and a half years since his diagnosis in 2016, Steven ran marathons, went skydiving and white-water rafting and travelled to New Zealand.
He also bought himself a grand piano, which he managed to play up until about two weeks before he died.
Paying tribute to her son, Steven’s mum Ann, 68, said his legacy to her was to make her promise to learn to play the piano in his memory.
Until ill-health forced him to give up, Steven spent many years as a music teacher in Dundee.
He taught at Menzieshill High School for a couple of years after he graduated from Edinburgh University, before he moved to Harris Academy where he spent about 11 years.
Ann said: “He was very upset at having to give up teaching and since he died we have received so many lovely letters and tributes from his pupils.
“He was a very popular and much-loved teacher.”
Steven lived with his mum and dad Ken, 67, on Johnston Avenue and Ann said he was an “incredible and inspiring” young man.
She said: “Steven was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2016.
“By the time he got his diagnosis the cancer had progressed so far into his lungs and liver that doctors told him that it was terminal and gave him a year to 18 months to live. He had chemotherapy but that stopped recently.
“He lived longer than doctors expected and he made the most of the time he had left.
“Among the many things Steven undertook was travelling, going on holiday to New Zealand with me, his dad and his brother David.
“He did all the organising and we had a fantastic time.
“Steven even ran a full marathon and a half marathon while he was there. The full marathon included an 8,000ft climb which he completed in six and a half hours despite the cancer affecting his lungs.”
Ann said that Steven had always been a very keen runner and had completed marathons all over the world, including in Chicago, Amsterdam, Berlin and Boston as well as in the UK.
Doctors at Ninewells Hospital told his family that it was because Steven was so fit that he lived for longer than they expected.
Steven’s first love was music and, as well as the piano, he played the violin.
He was the organist at St Luke’s Church in Broughty Ferry for about 10 years.
Minister at the church, Rev Graham Taylor, said: “Steven was a very inspirational man who displayed tremendous courage.
“He was always very dignified, particularly in illness.
“He was an inspirational teacher and a very talented musician who had a very positive impact on the lives of his many pupils. He packed a great deal into his 37 years.”
When he was younger, Steven was a member of the Dundee Schools Symphony Orchestra.
Ann said: “He loved classical music, particularly Chopin, and jazz.
“After his diagnosis he was determined to make memories for us and he certainly did that.
“He was also very protective of us over his illness and was so brave and never gave in.
“He was an adorable young man.”
Screening tests issued to everyone aged 50 and over
Bowel cancer or colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women with 3,700 new cases detected in 2016.
The NHS in Scotland automatically invites everyone to take a screening test at home at the age of 50 and then to repeat the test every two years until age 74.
The kit is returned in a pre-paid envelope to the central screening centre in Dundee and tested for hidden traces of blood.
Individuals who have a positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) result are referred to their local hospital for assessment and, where appropriate, offered a colonoscopy as the first line of investigation.
An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “By detecting cancer at its earliest stages people have the best opportunity for successful treatment.
“Screening can detect bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear, when it is easier to treat. It may also pick up non-cancerous growths or polyps, which could become cancerous. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer.
“Even if you missed your recent screening invitation, you can request a replacement test from the Bowel Screening Centre by calling 0800 0121 833.”