Stephen Sutton, an inspirational teen cancer victim, died Wednesday morning. His death creates a wake of grief and hope across the globe. Stephen Sutton began battling cancer at age 15. Just over a year ago, Stephen learned his cancer was incurable. Shortly after the terminal diagnosis, on January 13th 2013, he made a Facebook page called “Stephen’s Story”. Realizing that his long-term goal of becoming a doctor would not be possible, Stephen quickly changed his focus to achieving as much as he could in the time he had left. Stephen’s Story initially consisted of casual updates as Sutton checked off items from his bucketlist. Before long, the page morphed as the teen became an inspiring philanthropist and powerful motivational speaker.
The dying teen said that the goal of Stephen’s Story was to spread “as much positivity as possible” and to teach people who have something go wrong in life “not to be defined by it.” He became an incredible motivational speaker who was sought-after by groups, schools, and organizations. Those who hosted Stephen at speaking events stressed that, in person, he was exponentially more powerful than they expected. He is described as “the most authentic motivational speaker ever” by too many hosts and audience members to list. Sutton’s speeches were consistently followed by unbridled inspiration and exuberant standing ovations.
Alison Wellon, coordinator of the support group for people with disabilities Friends 2 Friends, wrote about Sutton, “Stephen’s talk had the group talking for weeks afterwards, something that has never happened before and also inspired everyone to make their own wish lists.”
Even the testimonials about the teen philanthropist on the Stephen’s Story webpage are inspiring.
In April, according to Mashable writer Stan Schroeder, the dying teen posted a message to Facebook saying goodbye. Inquisitr quoted him writing, “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. It’s a shame the end has come so suddenly- there’s so many people I haven’t got round to properly thank or say goodbye to.”
May 11th, Stephen updated his Twitter and Facebook accounts explaining that he was back in the hospital.
Unfortunately today I’ve ended up back in hospital! I had some breathing difficulties starting last night and… http://t.co/f8Kkxm7qU0
— Stephen’s Story (@_StephensStory) May 11, 2014
Tuesday, a family member told Twitter and Facebook followers that his condition deteriorated. Wednesday morning, his mother told the world that her brave son, Stephen Sutton, had died. He was only 19-years-old, but it is said that he lived more in his 19 years than most people ever do. British leaders, including the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, have already expressed their condolences to Stephen’s family.
Stephen created the Teenage Cancer Trust while he battled his bowel cancer. Through the charity, Sutton raised more than five million dollars for teens with cancer. Stephen wrote on the donation page, “Number 1 on my bucketlist, and by far the most important thing to me, was to raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust… but I think it’s fair to say we’ve smashed that total!!”
Since his death this morning, Stephen continues to inspire. Donations to his charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, are still rolling in. The teen said that he learned not to measure life in terms of time anymore. Stephen Sutton said he learned to measure life in terms of what he’s actually achieved.
Stephen Sutton’s Just Giving page has raised £30,000 in about the last 90 minutes https://t.co/DEILjoxmSU
— Laurence Dodds (@LFDodds) May 14, 2014
RIP Stephen Sutton, one of the most courageous and inspirational people in the world — ❁ (@jadereidxx) May 14, 2014
— Renzo Soprano (@Renzo_Soprano) May 14, 2014
[Photo via Stephen’s Story on Facebook]