Stephen Sutton: How a teenager touched our hearts – and raised over £3m for charity

His mother said her heart is 'bursting with pride but breaking with pain' after announcing the death of her 'courageous' son

The mother of a teenager who raised more than £3m for a cancer charity after being diagnosed with the disease, has paid tribute to a “courageous, selfless, inspirational son”.

Stephen Sutton died four years after he was first diagnosed with bowel cancer. Tributes honouring the 19-year-old have been led by the Prime Minister David Cameron and continue to flood social media today.

His mother, Jane Sutton, released a statement on the Stephen's Story Facebook page confirming his death.

“My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning," she wrote.

“The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many.”

In the hours following the announcement, donations for The Teenage Cancer Trust on Stephen's Just Giving page surged by more than £100,000.

Stephen made headlines for raising over £3million for charity after he posted an emotional farewell message to the followers of his Stephen’s Story Facebook page. He had initially set out to raise just £10,000.

Soon, celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Jason Manford, Simon Pegg and Russell Brand took to social media and encouraged others to give money to the cause.

In an interview with The Sun when he was well enough, the teenager said: "You only get one shot at life. I need to make every second count."

He added: "I'd much rather measure how long I've got left in terms of achievements, rather than time. How quickly the clock ticks is unimportant to me.

"What matters is raising awareness and raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust."

Since then, more than 135,000 people from around the world have donated to his Just Giving page, with donations continuing to pour in after his death was announced.

Tributes for the teenager have been flooding in on Twitter, with many paying homage to his “spirit” and “bravery”.

Offering his deepest sympathies to Stephen's family and those who knew him, Mr Cameron said: "I can hardly think of anyone I've met with such a zest for life, and such a belief that you can get things done, and who wanted to live every minute.

Stephen was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 15. In 2012 he was told his condition was incurable and in April this year he filmed a moving final farewell, believing he was about to die.

A month later, Sutton experienced what he described 'a miraculous recovery' after coughing up a tumour. Following successful surgery, he was well enough to be discharged from Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 2 May.

But he was readmitted on Sunday, with his family confirming that his condition had deteriorated "due to a re-growth of tumours".

Stephen with actor Russell Brand Stephen with actor Russell Brand In a lengthy post on his Facebook page Stephen’s Story, on 8 May, Sutton said: “I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2010. I then have had periods of remission and relapse, before doctors eventually described my disease as incurable in November 2012. Throughout this time I have underwent all manner of treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc) that have helped treat and prolong my life.

“I actually I see myself as very fortunate- despite being incurable for a while I have had a sustained period of very good health where I was able to go out and enjoy things thoroughly…

“Ultimately, there is no miracle cure for me. I am potentially the most positive and optimistic person in the world, but we have to be realistic with what we are up against. My disease is very advanced and will get me eventually, but I will try my damn hardest to be here as long as possible.”

Stephen pictured with his mother, Jane, who left a moving tribute to her son on the Stephen's Story Facebook page Stephen pictured with his mother, Jane, who left a moving tribute to her son on the Stephen's Story Facebook page In a statement after news of Stephen's death was announced, the Teenage Cancer Trust said: "We are humbled and hugely grateful for what Stephen achieved and continues to achieve for us.

"The thoughts of everyone here at Teenage Cancer Trust are with Stephen's family and friends."

The Teenage Cancer Trust will share details of a legacy plan for Stephen Sutton in the coming weeks. 

If you want to donate to Stephen's Story, go to his Just Giving page.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness