Teen dying of cancer raises $4m for charity

Teen dying of cancer raises $4m for charity
Thumbs up: One of the items on Mr Stephen Sutton's bucket list was to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

He doesn't have much time to live.

But that didn't stop Stephen Sutton, 19, from doing all he can to raise more than £2million (S$4 million) for charity.

His humble request sparked one of the most heart-warming fund raising drives seen in recent times.

Since the boy from Staffordshire, England, posted his heartbreaking message on Tuesday, donations have poured in at an astonishing rate of more than £400,000 a day.

On Wednesday, his plight had prompted donations of £1.4 million.

Amazing because his target was a modest £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, the Mail Online reported.

On Thursday, the contributions had ballooned to about £2.5 million from about 96,000 supporters.

Even celebrities tweeted their support for Mr Sutton.

Former British Olympic gold-medal cyclist Chris Hoy, comedian Jack Whitehall, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, comedian Russell Brand, pop sensation The Vamps, and actor Simon Pegg were among those who showed their support for the Thumbs Up For Stephen campaign.

It prompted Mr Sutton to gather the strength to write a Facebook message from his hospital bed to thank his supporters. He said: "Hi guys, it's Stephen here again, and it feels so good to be able to put that.

"Currently I am feeling well and would describe my current situation as stable. Different people will put my recent physical improvement down to different reasons; I don't want to over dramatise things too much, but I do just want to mention that everyone's positive thoughts and support has been hugely appreciated, so thank you for that.

"The tumours in my body are still rife and dangerous, but I feel so lucky to just still be here. In fact, I feel completely privileged to be in this position where I can help make such a difference to other people's lives."

He said that to see people come together for the cause is incredibly touching and heartwarming.

He added: "Thank you from me, and also thank you from every young cancer patient in the future who will benefit invaluably from the money raised!"

Mr Sutton was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 15.

After he realised he did not have long to live, he set himself a "bucket list" of 46 challenges to tick off in his final days, including a charity skydive, quizzes, a football match and playing the drums in front of a huge crowd.

He managed to tick off 33 challenges, one of which was to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

But his plight so captured the hearts of those who followed his Facebook, Twitter and other Internet updates that he used the growing goodwill to continue fund raising.

The Teenager Cancer Trust said that Mr Sutton's fund is the single largest donation it had ever received.

The charity's chief executive Siobhan Dunn said: "I've had the privilege of meeting him and his positivity is always remembered by all who meet him or hear him speak.

"Stephen is making the biggest possible difference to Teenage Cancer Trust and the young people who need our help."

In a post on Thursday, Mr Sutton said he had bounced back from a collapsed lung, saying: "In all honesty I was probably not too far from nearly leaving you all."

He said a doctor who saw him said his medical notes and the his actual condition don't quite "seem to match up".

Mr Sutton's ambition was to become a doctor.

This article was published on April 27 in The New Paper.

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