Stephen Sutton, the courageous 19-year-old cancer patient who raised more than ¬£3Million for charity has sadly passed away.
Stephen‚§™s story resonated with the hearts and minds of the British people once the news of his fundraising activities spread to social media. The Facebook post announcing his death was shared 120,000 times within an hour of going live.
However, Stephen‚§™s good work has yet to end. Just two hours after the news was announced, Sutton‚§™s fundraising page handled some ¬£60,000 in donations. The total is now at ¬£3.72 million and is still rising.
Jane Sutton, Stephen‚§™s mother, said in a statement that, ‚§ĹMy heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son‚§.
Stephen Sutton was diagnosed with terminal metastatic bowel cancer aged just 15. The young man drew up a ‚§˜bucket list‚§™ of things he wanted to do before he died. These included skydiving, hugging an elephant and getting a tattoo. He also played the drums before the Uefa Champions League Final at Wembley last year, performing for some 90,000 attending fans.
Sutton even broke a world record by getting 554 people to make a heart shaped hand gesture earlier this month.
His charity work began when he set himself the goal of raising ¬£10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, but he did quite a bit better than that. Celebrities caught wind of Stephen‚§™s selfless goals and pretty soon, publicity and money was flooding in. Comedian Jason Manford, one of Stephen‚§™s strongest supporters, said that the young man ‚§Ĺwas the most inspiring person I‚§™ve ever met and (he) touched more lives than he will ever know‚§
‚§ĹIn his darkest hour he selflessly dedicated his final moments to raising millions of pounds for teenagers with cancer‚§
The Teenage Cancer Trust, who received their largest ever donation from Stephen‚§™s ‚§˜Just Giving‚§™ page said, "We are humbled and hugely grateful for what Stephen achieved and continues to achieve for us."
On the page itself (https://www.justgiving.com/stephen-sutton-tct), Stephen says,
‚§ĹHi! My name‚§™s Stephen and I‚§™m pretty much like your average teenager- except for the last three years now I‚§™ve been battling cancer. The current opinion voiced by my doctors is that my disease is incurable, and as a result I want to spend as much time as possible raising funds for a charity very close to my heart‚§.
The introduction doesn‚§™t dwell on the negative, but instead looks forward with a positive eye, which just about says it all, really.
The image that most people will have of Stephen Sutton is of a fresh faced; handsome young man giving two thumbs up to the camera. A breathing mask pulled to one side is unable to hide a kind and genuine smile. But for the hospital bed, it could be a candid holiday snap.
Stephen‚§™s bravery in the face of hardship, together with his generosity of spirit and positive message, stands as an inspiration to us all.