Stephen Sutton: Teenager's condition improves after 'coughing up tumour' as Benedict Cumberbatch backs campaign

JustGiving campaign for Teenage Cancer Trust approaching £3m

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The Independent Online

A teenager suffering from terminal cancer, whose fundraising campaign has been backed by a host of celebrities, now including Benedict Cumberbatch, has seen his condition improve after "coughing up a tumour"

Stephen Sutton, 19, is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has helped him throughout his battle with colorectal cancer. He now has raised almost £3 million, breaking all records on the JustGiving charity site.

The campaign has been supported most actively by the comedian Jason Manford, who told the Sunday Mirror he hopes it will reach £5 million and that "[Stephen] has inspired people all over the world".

Via his Facebook page Stephen's Story, the teenager has been keeping people updated with his condition - and after posting what he thought was a "final thumbs up" last week his condition seems to have dramatically improved.

"This whole week has been pretty unbelievable and I can barely fully get my head round everything that has gone on," Stephen wrote on Sunday afternoon.

He described how his coughing and shortness of breath became "incredibly severe", until his coughing brought up a "solid object".

"This morning I am relying on NO external oxygen to breath at all and I'm feeling bloody fantastic," he said. "The doctors have discussed what's happened and the only plausible conclusion is that I've literally coughed up a tumour."

Stephen has consistently repeated that his condition is terminal, and said today that it is still a case of counting the days - adding that "at the moment the days just keep on coming!"

Such is the support for Stephen online that his latest update has already been "liked" by more than 100,000 people.

Cumberbatch and fellow actor Simon Pegg have sent messages of encouragement via Twitter, urging people to donate to Stephen's cause, and last night Simon Cowell pledged to make a "significant" contribution himself.

Stephen, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, said the reaction to his cause had confirmed his belief that people are "good" and called everyone's response "heartwarming".

He wrote: "I always describe my cancer as a huge kick up the backside that taught me a lot of good: the importance of helping others, of making every second count, of making sure life is for LIVING."

Read more:
'I'm still here and still fighting'
Celebrities support #thumbsupforstephen campaign
Money will 'transform' charity
Stephen reminds us there's not a moment to waste