Stephen Sutton dies: David Cameron and Ricky Gervais lead tributes to fundraising teenager who lost his battle with cancer
The 19-year-old passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning, his family have confirmed
Few passings are marked with tributes from the Prime Minister, the leader of the Labour party and sporting greats, but few are perhaps as inspirational as fundraising teenage cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton was.
Followers of the 19-year-old’s ‘Stephen’s Story’ campaign were saddened after a Facebook post from his mother Jane Sutton confirmed news of his death this morning.
"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, Wednesday 14th May," 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."
Since the post, famous supporters of his cause – which raised over £3million for the Teenage Cancer Trust – took to Twitter to pay tribute to Sutton.
I'm deeply saddened to hear that Stephen Sutton has died. His spirit, bravery and fundraising for cancer research were all an inspiration.David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 14, 2014
Tragic news that Stephen Sutton has passed away. His bravery and determination to live life to the full was an inspiration to us all.Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) May 14, 2014
It's amazing what an individual can achieve regardless of what is put in front of them. @_StephensStory has been an inspiration to many. RIPJohn Bishop (@JohnBishop100) May 14, 2014
Rest In Peace @_StephensStory Rest well fella, you've earned it. Helped and inspired a lot of people.Staffordshire's finest.Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) May 14, 2014
Desperately sad to hear that Stephen Sutton has died. I feel privileged to have met him and heard him speak. @_StephensStoryClare Balding (@clarebalding) May 14, 2014
RIP Stephen Sutton. A true hero and inspiration to us all. #stephensstoryRicky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 14, 2014
RIP Stephen Sutton,a truly inspiring young man,I am in tears watching the news footagecarol decker (@caroldecker) May 14, 2014
So sad to hear the news about Stephen Sutton. What an amazing, selfless and immensely inspirational young man. #RIPStephenKevin Pietersen (@KP24) May 14, 2014
So sad to hear about Stephen Sutton. What a wonderful and inspiring man. RIP.Sarah Millican (@SarahMillican75) May 14, 2014
Stephen Sutton has died. But his name will be synonymous with determination and positivity for some years to come. Legend.Ralf Little (@RalfLittle) May 14, 2014
Meanwhile, comedian Jason Manford, who was among the famous faces who raised money for Stephen’s Story, said: "Stephen Sutton was the most inspiring person I've ever met and touched more lives than he will ever know.
"He was an incredibly positive young man and a credit to his family, to Burntwood and to humanity itself.
"The reason we took to him so passionately was because he was better than us, he did something that none of us could even imagine doing.
"In his darkest hour he selflessly dedicated his final moments to raising millions of pounds for teenagers with cancer.
"Some of Stephen's words will stay with me and others forever and they are words to live by - 'life isn't measured in time, it's measured in achievements'."
Sutton, from Burntwood in Staffordshire, was readmitted to hospital after developing breathing difficulties on Sunday. The news came as a blow to Sutton and his family, after he experienced a "miraculous recovery" just weeks before, having "coughed up" a tumour.
Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “Stephen was an exceptional young man and ambassador for Teenage Cancer Trust.
"Stephen has made an enormous difference to Teenage Cancer Trust and the seven young people diagnosed with cancer every day who need our help."
"Stephen's story struck a chord with the nation, putting teenage cancer, and bowel cancer specifically, firmly in the public eye," Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, the disease he was initially diagnosed with, added.
"He has undoubtedly created greater awareness in the public and the clinical community that bowel cancer can affect younger people too and for this we owe him such gratitude."
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