UK & World News
Dying Teen Cheered By 'Phenomenal' Donations
A terminally ill teenager whose JustGiving page raised more than £1m for charity in 24 hours says he is "still fighting".
Stephen Sutton saw his fundraising campaign for the Teenage Cancer Trust reach more than £1.6m between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The surge in donations came after comedian Jason Manford took up the cause and tweeted details to fellow celebrities, who contributed and passed the message on. Donations are still flowing in.
Stephen signed off from his Facebook page on Tuesday, saying: "It's a final thumbs up from me! 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."
However, by Thursday he had returned with a cheerful posting.
"Hi everyone, it's Stephen here- still here and still fighting!!! Throughout the whole journey I've been realistic about my position and at my last post I genuinely thought I was a goner.... But hey, I'm still here!!
After talking more about his worsening condition, the 19-year-old wrote of his delight at the success of the campaign.
"I am in high spirits and blessed to have so much love and support around me," he wrote.
"To get to see the million-pound fundraising target being reached was just phenomenal!"
Stephen, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, was diagnosed with incurable colorectal cancer at the age of 15.
Fundraising £1m for the cancer charity was part of a bucket list of 46 things to do before he died.
His wish list also included hugging an elephant, crowd-surfing in a rubber dinghy, playing the drums at a Wembley cup final, getting a tattoo and appearing on a TV drama programme.
Manford said he thinks the teenager's continuing positive attitude was behind people's desire to give.
"That's what got their imaginations going really," the comedian said.
"It was that he just had such joy for life.
"He wasn't bitter about leaving the party early, he was just happy that he was ever invited at all. He's 19, which is no age at all."
As for Stephen himself, he is still fighting.
"The plan is to take things day by day. Just keep on keeping on like I always have. I will try and update when I can, but my health and staying alive is obviously my main priority at the moment aha," he wrote online.
"The battle is physically and mentally very demanding, but I am happy - and that's the main thing!"