When we see the news everyday it’s rare to see a story which has inspired and motivated so many people, and helped so many more. Stephen Sutton, a 19 year old cancer patient has hit headlines recently as his picture – and cause- went viral, moving and influencing many.
After suffering from cancer since he was 15, Stephen found out in January 2013 that his cancer was incurable. He created a ‘bucket list’, a Facebook page and ‘Stephen’s story’ was born. Stephen quickly gained a huge following after doing a significant amount of fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust and found fame ticking things off his bucket list as he went.
Stephen became an internet phenomenon after he posted a photo of himself in hospital with his thumbs up, after suffering a collapse earlier in the day. He bid his followers a final farewell, and people began to respond and interact more and more with both him and his cause. With celebrities such as comedian Jason Manford and Benedict Cumberbatch publicly supporting him, Stephen’s fundraising for charity went viral, and he hit over 3 times more than his original target of £1 million and doubled his target within a week of his photo being posted.
Unfortunately, Stephen passed away on the 14th May, having raised over £3.2 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. This has since grown further, and contributions are still coming in. The Stephen’s Story Facebook page is covered in tributes for him, many commenting on his inspirational spirit, their pride for his achievements and support for his family.
The Teenage Cancer Trust aims to help young people suffering from cancer and give them the motivation that their diagnosis doesn’t mean their lives have to stop. With 7 people between the ages of 13 and 24 being diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, the Teenage Cancer Trust believe in providing them with the support and advice from experts that they need to become educated about cancer and treated with people just like them.