Stephen Sutton: 'inspirational' teen cancer campaigner dies
The 19-year-old raised more than £3m for charity before losing battle with bowel cancer
STEPHEN SUTTON, the 19-year-old who raised more than £3m for charity, has lost his battle with bowel cancer.
The terminally ill teenager hit headlines last month when his bucket list plea to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust went viral and raised more than £3.2m in days.
His mother Jane wrote in a statement on his Facebook page today: "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.
"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."
Within an hour, more than 125,000 people left their condolences beneath the post and donations on Stephen's JustGiving page soared by thousands of pounds.
News of his death came barely an hour after a trust set up in memory of Princess Diana announced that it was honouring him with its Diana Award – given to young people who have had a monumental impact on the lives of others, reports The Times. More than 35,000 people had also signed an online petition calling for him to be knighted.
Stephen’s bowel cancer was discovered when he was 15 and he was told early last year that his cancer had spread and was incurable.
The 19-year-old had admitted feeling angry with doctors who initially misdiagnosed his condition as constipation, allowing the cancer to advance. But he added: "I'm not one to dwell on the past. It is what it is."
After coughing up a tumour and undergoing successful surgery, he had appeared to make what he described as "a miraculous recovery" and was discharged from Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 2 May. However, he was readmitted to hospital last weekend suffering "breathing difficulties", due to the re-growth of tumours blocking his airways.
RIP Stephen Sutton. A true hero & inspiration to us all. #stephensstory
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 14, 2014
Desperately sad to hear that Stephen Sutton has died. I feel privileged to have met him and heard him speak. @_StephensStory
— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) May 14, 2014
Tragic news that Stephen Sutton has passed away. His bravery & determination to live life to the full was an inspiration to us all.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) May 14, 2014