Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Teenager inspires £2.6m cancer cash

Cancer patient Stephen Sutton.
Cancer patient Stephen Sutton.

Donations inspired by a terminally-ill teenager continued to rise today, passing the £2.6 million mark.

Stephen Sutton, 19, set out to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, but smashed that target days ago, going on to aim for £1 million, which increased still further as publicity around his cause spread with the help of celebrities including Simon Pegg, Stephen Fry and Russell Brand.

Today, the total raised stood at £2,617,850.16 and donations soared past 100,000.

Meanwhile comedian Jason Manford, the original champion of his cause, said a gig in aid of Mr Sutton tomorrow night had sold out in just four minutes.

It has been organised at the last minute at Players Bar in Birmingham and Manford has tweeted: "Sold out in 4 mins!"

Mr Sutton, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, who has broken all records on fund-raising website JustGiving, wrote on Facebook : "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, and in fact I feel completely privileged to be in this position where I can help make such a difference to others people lives."

He added: " I've always been a firm believer that people are 'good', and to see people come together for the cause recently in the way they have is incredibly touching and heartwarming.

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

JustGiving tweeted yesterday that it was itself donating £50,000 to mark the record Mr Sutton has set.

It wrote on Twitter: "Stephen we think you're amazing. It's been a privilege supporting your fundraising. You've now broken all fundraising records on JustGiving - so here is a special donation from JustGiving."

Some 106,960 donations have been made on Mr Sutton's JustGiving page.

The teenager has enjoyed support from a host of celebrities who have taken to Twitter, posing for pictures with the hashtag thumbsupforstephen and holding signs to encourage people to donate.

Manford has said he met Mr Sutton at charity gigs and was bowled over by his positivity as he strove to make the best of his situation.

The teenager was diagnosed with what was initially bowel cancer when he was 15.

Despite surgery, the aggressive cancer spread to different parts of his body and, after further treatment and operations, doctors concluded it was incurable.

Mr Sutton set up his charity fund-raising website and blog on Facebook in January last year to keep people up to date with his progress.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Sutton-TCT.

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