Stephen Sutton died Wednesday morning at the ripe age of 19. Featured above is a farewell photo he posted on his Facebook page last month, with the caption
It’s a final thumbs up for me. 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 too. Apologies for that.
The UK teen gained popularity for his fundraising efforts and inspirational blogging detailing his experience with cancer. Instead of facing the diagnosis with fear, Sutton decided to write a bucket list with things he wanted to do before he died, and successfully completed 2/3 of the list. He had planned to have a career as a doctor, and BBC News reports that he had interviews lined up with Cambridge University. Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Died Wednesday Morning
According to CNN World, Sutton passed away early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, his family wrote on his Facebook page that he was having trouble breathing because of tumors that were regrowing and blocking his airways. His mother said he died peacefully in his sleep.
2. He Had Bowel Cancer
Just like to say RIP Stephen Sutton who died with cancer having raised lots of money for teenage cancer trust and thanks.
— Barry John Millsip (@inmyeyes7) May 14, 2014
He was first diagnosed in 2010, when he was 15 years old, with what started as a bowel tumor. The tumor quickly spread to his knee, lungs, and the liver. Since then, he has undergone four regimes of chemotherapy. When Stephen’s situation worsened in the spring of 2014, it made national news.
3. Prime Minister David Cameron Visited Him in Hospital
RIP stephen sutton, the world has lost an amazing human being, he is my inspiration. pic.twitter.com/2ETkEHALfi
— Annie (@doll112) May 14, 2014
Stephen was born on December 16, 1994, in Burntwood, Staffordshire. The Prime Minister visited him after his campaign to raise money for teenagers with cancer gained popularity.
CNN World quotes Sutton below.
In a weird way, I see my first cancer diagnosis as a good thing. It was a huge kick up the backside. It gave me a lot of motivation for life.
4. He’s Trending on Twitter
On his Facebook page, Sutton describes himself as a
teenager with incurable cancer just trying to enjoy life as much as possible, while raising funds for charity to help others.
His fundraising efforts gained momentum last month after he posted a selfie from the hospital.
story of Stephen Sutton showed me how much we don't do and how much we would do if we knew life was not promised.
— Richard W H (@HutchakaPenfold) May 14, 2014
My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed… http://t.co/3FoImIZa1B
— Stephen's Story (@_StephensStory) May 14, 2014
5. He Raised $5.4 Million for Charity
How Stephen Sutton raised £3m for Teenage Cancer Trust – BBC News http://t.co/SD4fKSL551
— Thomas MOORE (@phmcgpe_tom) May 14, 2014
The money he raised went to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Stephen set his own bar at $17,000, and clearly surpassed these expectations, mostly through donations to his page on Facebook.
Some of the things Stephen was able to check off his bucket list were: sky diving for charity, organizing a charity party, go busking, organize and be part of a flash mob, get a tattoo, and drum in front of a huge crowd.
Sadly, Stephen never got to some things on his list: attend a carnival in Brazil, write and release a charity single with his old band, bungee jump, or go to Australia.
His mom is the last person to write on his Facebook page.