Tributes for British teenager who made light of cancer

May 14, 2014

A 19-year-old Briton who raised millions of pounds for cancer charities with his refusal to allow the disease to prevent him from achieving a 'bucket list' of wishes, died in his sleep Wednesday.

Celebrities and thousands of members of the public paid tribute to Stephen Sutton on social media, which he himself had used to spread news of his plight.

He raised more than £3.2 million ($5.4 million, 3.9 million euros) for cancer charities after cheerily documenting his illness on social media, and new donations poured in following his death.

His condition had improved last week, but he was taken back to hospital on Sunday after suffering caused by tumours.

In a Facebook post announcing his death, his mother Jane Sutton said her heart was "bursting with pride but breaking with pain".

Stephen was a "courageous, selfless, inspirational son", she said in a message that was shared 120,000 times within an hour of its publication.

His Facebook page was followed by people from as far afield as Chile, Pakistan, Kenya and the United States.

On Tuesday, a post on Stephen's condition which included an update on his condition was seen by more than 13 million people in their newsfeed.

Following the announcement of his death, singer Barry Manilow described him as "an inspiring and beautiful soul", while England cricketer Kevin Pietersen said he was "an amazing, selfless and immensely inspirational young man".

Stephen, from Staffordshire in central England, was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 15.

He embarked on a quest to fulfil a wishlist of activities, completing a skydive and playing drums on the pitch before last year's Champions League football final at London's Wembley Stadium.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who had visited him in hospital last week, said: "He was determined not to waste a minute, or an hour or a day.

"I think that is why he created this phenomenon, not just here in the UK, but right around the world—helped by , everyone was able to get involved, to pledge, to take part.

"A very, very bright light has gone out."

Last week, some Twitter 'trolls' suggested he had "duped" them by soliciting pledges of money, while his condition had apparently improved.

He responded: "Sorry to disappoint you! So you know, I still have my cancer and it's incurable, if that makes you feel less 'duped' x"

Explore further: Media outlets urged to 'Share Stories' at Facebook

Related Stories

Media outlets urged to 'Share Stories' at Facebook

October 22, 2013
Facebook sought to entice media outlets to post more news stories at the leading social network Monday, helping pinpoint promising pieces—a tactic aimed at combating Twitter.

Recommended for you

CAR-T immunotherapy may help blood cancer patients who don't respond to standard treatments

October 20, 2017
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved ...

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

One to 10 mutations are needed to drive cancer, scientists find

October 19, 2017
For the first time, scientists have provided unbiased estimates of the number of mutations needed for cancers to develop, in a study of more than 7,500 tumours across 29 cancer types. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger ...

Researchers target undruggable cancers

October 19, 2017
A new approach to targeting key cancer-linked proteins, thought to be 'undruggable," has been discovered through an alliance between industry and academia.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.