Stephen Sutton dies of bowel cancer, aged 19
The teenage fundraiser, who has raised more than £3.2million for the Teenage Cancer Trust, sadly passed away this week. His use of social media in particular as a means to raise awareness and funds for others during his tragically short life has been incredibly inspiring.
Stephen, from Burntwood in Staffordshire, was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 15 years old. He created a ‘bucket list’ of things that he would like to do with the time he had remaining. This led to him doing a skydive, playing drums in front of 90,000 people before the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley last May, hugging an elephant and getting a tattoo.
Stephen was readmitted to hospital on Sunday after developing breathing difficulties caused by the re-growth of tumours. The Facebook post announcing Stephen’s death was shared more than 120,000 times within an hour of its publication.
He had initially set out to raise just £10,000 for charity, but his fundraising campaign attracted huge attention last month after he posted a selfie online.
Stephen’s mother Jane said in a statement “My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son. “The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many.”
The Teenage Cancer Trust, to which Stephen made the largest ever single donation in its history, said: “We are humbled and hugely grateful for what Stephen achieved and continues to achieve for us.”
Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said Stephen had “undoubtedly created greater awareness… that bowel cancer can affect younger people too and for this we owe him such gratitude”.
It was only last week that Stephen’s concern that the delay that occurred before he was correctly diagnosed may have affected his chances of fighting the cancer. He was originally diagnosed with constipation.
My thoughts are with Stephen’s family at this incredibly difficult time. I would urge anyone who considers that there has been a delay in diagnosing their condition to take specialist advice on their options from a specialist medical negligence solicitor. If you are concerned about the treatment that you or a loved one have received, please contact me free of charge and in confidence on 0207 288 4834.