“Stephen Sutton (16 December 1994 – 14 May 2014) was a British blogger and charity activist known for his blog Stephen’s Story and his fundraising efforts for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity for the aid of teenagers with cancer. As of 30 May 2014, Sutton had raised over £4 million more than 4 times the target” (Wikipedia).
Few would have heard of this remarkable young man until just a few weeks before his untimely death (aged 19) due to cancer. Diagnosed with cancer at 15, which later was identified as terminal, he became an inspirational figure that touched the lives of many because of his many qualities, not least his positivity and ability to endear himself to a diverse public, from the highest to the lowest. While he died early, aged 19, the legacy he has left can’t be disputed, and the tributes made from people throughout the country testify to this.
Jason Manford said: “Stephen Sutton was the most inspiring person I’ve ever met and touched more lives than he will ever know. He was an incredibly positive young man and a credit to his family, to Burntwood and to humanity itself. The reason we took to him so passionately was because he was better than us, he did something that none of us could even imagine doing. In his darkest hour he selflessly dedicated his final moments to raising millions of pounds for teenagers with cancer. Some of Stephen’s words will stay with me and others forever and they are words to live by – ‘life isn’t measured in time, it’s measured in achievements.”
Life is short and while Stephen knew his condition was terminal, few of us know if the years ahead of us are few or many, but the best tribute to Stephen is to do what he did and live the few days that are left to us to the full and do so in the service of others.
- It is not the situation, it is how I react to the situation that is important.
- I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not cramming as much into my life as I should have done.
- Spread as much positivity as possible – that’s my goal.
- When you look at the positives of life, there is so much to enjoy, there is so much to be excited about.
- We are on the journey together. This isn’t about me. It’s about helping others.
- There is only so long that you can ask ‘why me?’ I have been to a place that makes you realize life might not be fair, but that realization pushes you to make it a better place.
- I am not suffering from cancer, I am living with cancer. I am not cancer.
- Make every second count, never take anything for granted, don’t be afraid to try something new – life is for living.
- From someone who wants more time in this world, please don’t waste yours, you’d be amazed what you can achieve when you try.
- Thank you to my mum and the rest of my family for everything. Thank you to my medical team for the hard work and effort they’ve continually they’ve put towards me. And thank you everyone else for sharing this wonderful journey with me.