People

Published: Friday May 16, 2014 MYT 3:30:00 PM
Updated: Sunday June 1, 2014 MYT 7:53:11 PM

Inspiring teen who raised RM16mil for cancer charity dies

A British teenage cancer sufferer who raised more than £3 million (RM16.2mil) for charity after his fund-raising campaign went viral on social media has died at age 19.

Stephen Sutton died in his sleep on the morning of May 14, his mother Jane said on Facebook. The 19-year-old, who was first diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago, raised the money for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity and won the support of numerous celebrities and politicians.

“My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep,” Jane wrote to her son’s 900,000 followers on his Stephen's Story Facebook page.

Sutton originally set a £10,000 fund-raising target after being told his cancer was terminal in 2012. However he received over 100,000 public donations and raised his target to £1 million after a final “goodbye” message he posted on Facebook went viral.

“It’s a final thumbs up from me,” Sutton wrote alongside what he thought was a last picture of himself in a hospital bed. “I’ve done well to blag things as well as I have up till now, but unfortunately I think this is just one hurdle too far.”

Sutton uploaded what he thought was his last photo (above) to Facebook on April 22 after a health scare. His health then stabilised to get discharged from hospital, but it took a turn for the worse weeks later. (Below) Sutton posed for a photo with David Cameron when the British PM visited him in hospital on May 2.

News of Sutton’s plight quickly spread, and celebrities including Simon Cowell, Ricky Gervais, David Tennant, Russell Brand and Stephen Fry publicly supported Sutton’s cause.

British PM David Cameron wrote on Twitter: “I am deeply saddened to hear that Stephen Sutton has died. His spirit, bravery and fundraising for cancer research were all an inspiration.”

Sutton was discharged from hospital at the beginning of May after his health improved, but his family said on May 13 that his condition had deteriorated and he was struggling to breathe.

Sutton's final status update on Facebook; two days later he passed away in his sleep. 

Speaking about the money he had raised, he once told the BBC: “I don’t actually do what I do for recognition. I love nice comments but I do what I do because I find the best way to help myself is to help others. I’m proud of the feeling I get just by raising all this money,” he added. – Reuters

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, People, People, Britain, Stephen Sutton, Stephen's Story, cancer, charity, fundraising, dies, death, obituary, obit, tribute, viral, social media

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