Dying teen races against time to raise 1 million pound for charity
Staffordshire: A teenager with terminal cancer is in a race against time to complete his ‘bucket list’ and raise £1 million for charity.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Posting this photo on his Facebook journal, Stephen wrote, ‘Today I ticked no 30 off my bucket list: hug an animal bigger than me!’
Stephen Sutton was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010 when he was 15. But despite having the tumour removed from his bowel it returned the next year, and doctors told him he would be unlikely to survive more than a few years. Last January the fun-loving teenager drew up his bucket list of 46 tasks to complete before he dies.
He has already ticked off 35 of the 46 tasks and he is desperately trying to finish number one on the list — of raising £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Stephen, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, has already raised over £572,000 after cataloguing his progress on Facebook.
The activities he has achieved include ‘hugging an animal bigger than himself’ when he embraced an elephant at West Midlands Safari Park, and appearing as an extra in the BBC daytime drama Doctors after he wrote to the producers.
He has also played the drums in front of 90,000 people at last year’s Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund Champions League final at Wembley. He has also met Jimmy Carr, crowd-surfed in a rubber dinghy, ridden a Segway, delivered a speech about cancer at Number 10 Downing Street, gone on a lads’ holiday and been busking.
In a tongue-in-cheek swipe at his illness to complete number 23 on his list he had a pair of scissors tattooed on the operational scars that run along his body.
He said: “I started the list because I wanted to try and raise as much money as I could for Teenage Cancer Trust. I was quite confident I would be able to do that but I never thought I would get to over half-a-million, that is just crazy but I’m determined to hit the million pound mark.”
“My family and friends are fully behind me and really supportive which is great. My cancer obviously changed me and I realised that I would regret the things I didn’t do. I don’t want to take anything for granted and I don’t plan to,” he said.
He went on, “I have just finished another round of chemotherapy and I am currently on lots of medication, but I am used to that. I like to think I have motivated people to raise funds and do what I have done. If I can do it, anyone can. I know that my positivity is rubbing off on people and that feels brilliant.
I really hope I can complete my bucket list and that is what I plan to do, but first and foremost, I want to raise as much money as possible and get to a million, it will help others, save others and change people’s lives.”
To complete his bucket list, Stephen needs to tick off 11 more activities. His next ambition on the list is to make it into the Guinness Book of Records by taking part in the biggest ever tandem skydive with over 251 people.
The amount that Stephen has raised already for cancer charity, his target being £1 million