Teen Who Raised $5.4M For Charity Dies After Cancer Battle

Nineteen-year-old Stephen Sutton helped raise the British equivalent of more than $5 million, which will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Posted at 11:41 AM, May 14, 2014

A teenager known for publicizing his battle against an incurable cancer and raising millions of dollars for charity has died at the age of 19.

"I don't want to be remembered as someone who didn't fulfill his potential. My original goal was to become a doctor and help others that way. Unfortunately, my diagnosis means that I won't be able to fulfill that dream." (Via YouTube / Stephen's Story)

Stephen Sutton's family announced he died in the hospital early Wednesday morning after his condition had quickly declined. The Telegraph reports Sutton had been suffering from bowel cancer.

On Sutton's Facebook fan page, his mom wrote: "My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain. ... The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time." More than 100,000 people had left comments of support just one hour after the post was published.

USA Today reports Sutton said he had gotten too weak to keep updating his blog last month, so he had decided to have his mom take it over.

Several tumors had grown in Sutton's airways, making it difficult for him to speak in the days leading up to his death. Sky News notes Sutton started raising millions of dollars for charity after his bucket list had gone viral online.

Sutton had raised the British equivalent of more than $5 million in the four years after his cancer diagnosis. The BBC points out he also used that time to live life to the fullest.

"He crowd-surfed in a rubber dinghy, he went skydiving, he played a drum in front of a vast crowd at Wembley, and he got a tattoo."

The Guardian calls Sutton "inspirational." The paper adds many people were connected with him through social media. More than 1 million fans like his Facebook page, and more than 200,000 follow him on Twitter.

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted Wednesday saying, "His spirit, bravery and fundraising for cancer research were all an inspiration." (Via Twitter / @David_Cameron)

The BBC reports all of the money Sutton raised will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust. The charity says it's the biggest donation in its history.