I came across some very sad news after I got to work this morning. As I was going thru the news, just like every morning, I learned that Stephen Sutton, the inspirational, 19-yr-old cancer charity fundraiser, lost his battle early this morning:
“My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 14th May. The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many. Love, His mom x”
After being diagnosed at 15, and instead of becoming defeated, Stephen came up with a bucket list, and one of his many goals was to raise £10,000 ($16,800) for cancer charity. Then, the simple act of posting a selfie went viral, attracting the attention of the likes of Simon Pegg, Jimmy Carr, PM David Cameron, and countless others.
One of those others was Benedict Cumberbatch. It was this picture of Benedict holding a sign, encourage people to donate, that introduced me to Stephen’s story. With the help of countless other photos like this, that original £10,000 goal morphed into over $5.3 million raised, and donations are still pouring in amid the news of Stephen’s passing.
I was engrossed by Stephen’s story, and inspired by his optimism and courage in the face of such an dire illness. I can’t imagine enduring what Stephen did, and even more so as a teenager. My heart goes out to his loved ones as they deal with such a loss. If anyone is interested in making a donation in Stephen’s honor, you can do so via his website.