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Queen's Birthday Honours: Stephen Sutton accepted 'awesome' MBE shortly before his death

The 'thumbs up' 19-year-old raised £4 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust

Late teenager Stephen Sutton has been honoured with a MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours after losing his battle with bowel cancer last month.

The 19-year-old became a family name after his relentless charity efforts saw him raised £4 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sutton’s MBE is backdated to 14 May, the day he died, when his fundraising page saw a huge spike in donations.

His “truly delighted and immensely proud” mother Jane has said that although he did not want recognition for his work, Stephen had accepted the honour shortly before his death and thought it was “awesome”.

“He thought it was an incredible honour to have been nominated and it definitely got the ‘thumbs up’,” she said.

Sutton was admired for his positive outlook while fighting the illness. A ‘goodbye’ photo showing him lying in a hospital bed with his thumbs up went viral when it was posted on his Stephen’s Story Facebook page.


“It is clear that Stephen touched and inspired a huge number of people and this is ambassadorial work for the Teenage Cancer Trust was greatly appreciated by all those who helped,” the Cabinet Office said.

Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust paid tribute to an “exceptional young man” who did so much for the charity. “Stephen didn’t measure life in time, preferring instead to measure it by the difference someone makes,” she said.

Additional reporting by Press Association