Dying cancer patient raises £1million after bidding farewell on Facebook
A terminally ill cancer patient posted an emotional farewell to his followers on Facebook after he raised £1million, largest amount ever donated by an individual, to a cancer charity.
Stephen Sutton, 19, from Burntwood, in Staffordshire was diagnosed with bowl cancer at the age of 15 and started raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
He initially planned to raise £10,000 for the charity, but after achieving his target and raising over half a million in a year, he aimed at £1million.
After hitting his target on Wednesday, Stephen updated his Facebook status, stating he planned to “take things day-by-day and was still in a very vulnerable position.”
The teenager had made a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to do before the cancer overcomes him. He ticked off 35 of these, including playing drums in front of 90,000 people, getting a tattoo, delivering a speech at 10 Downing Street and raising “phenomenal” £1million for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Kate Collins, director of fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, told BBC news: “Mr Sutton’s campaign was hugely touching. He has made the most transformational difference for us. It’s very hard to talk about the scale of difference his money is going to make.”
The Trust aims to raise funds, educate and support teenagers fighting cancer and has supported Stephen throughout his battle.
The 19-year-old was initially diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 15. Despite surgery, treatments and operation, the aggressive cancer spread to different parts of his body, when doctors concluded it was incurable.
In his last posting on Facebook on Thursday, Stephen said: “Hi everyone, it’s Stephen here- still here and still fighting!!!Throughout the whole journey I’ve been realistic about my position and at my last post I genuinely thought I was a goner…. But hey, I’m still here!!”
The teenager has documented his journey on his blog Stephen’s Story and his page boasts of 213,000 likes and he has over 110,000 followers on Twitter.
Last month, Stephen met comedian Jason Manford at an event hosted by the charity and his campaign was backed by Mr Manford publicly, who volunteered to help the teenager reach the £2million mark.
Mr Manford has also asked some of his friends including Chris Hoy, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican, Piers Morgan, Philip Schofield and Raymond Blanc to come forward and show their support.