Stephen Sutton vigil continues: £4 million funds raisedCurrent affairsNewsPolitics & Social issues
The appeal by teenage cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton has passed £4 million as thousands of people gathered to attend his two-day vigil in Lichfield Cathedral.
The Teenage Cancer Trust said: “The 19-year old will never be forgotten because of the incredible impact that he has had on the lives of other young people who have cancer.”
Thousands line up to pay their final respects to Stephen Sutton at Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire.
His vigil began at Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire on Thursday evening, as friends and well wishers formed long queues to pay their upmost respects to the teenager whose courage despite facing terminal cancer inspired millions across the world.
His coffin was taken through the streets by a horse-driven hearse as hundreds lined the pavements.
The cathedral was jam-packed and dozens stood outside the doors, hoping to catch a glimpse of the service.
More than 7,000 people so far have attended the vigil and many are still pouring in to pay their final respects.
The Dean of Lichfield, the very reverend Adrian Dorber, addressed the gathered mourners and said: “Stephen in his all too brief life had taught how to make the unacceptable, beautiful.”
Stephen originally started the charity drive on his justgiving.com page and had hoped to raise £10,000, but significant donations continued to pour in from people touched by his determination.
The teenager died on 14th May after succumbing to multiple tumours.
Amongst those who paid tribute and gave their thumbs-up were Celia Houghton and her 14-year-old daughter Freya, who went to the same school as Stephen.
Recalling a powerful speech the young man gave to the school’s assembly a year ago, Freya said: “He was the one person who stood out.”
Teenage Cancer Trust’s chief executive Siobhan Dunn said: “Stephen’s an extraordinary young man who has had the most incredible impact on the lives of so many young people with cancer.”
Stephen’s mother Jane requested people not to wear black to her son’s funeral, instead to “do something to make others happy”.
In his memory yellow ribbons and balloons have been tied around Stephen’s hometown of Burntwood and other towns in Staffordshire, because of its association with summer, which happened to be his favourite season.
Before his death, once Stephen had said: “I don’t see the point of measuring life in terms of time anymore. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference.”