Bucket-list teenager aims for £2m

Teenage Cancer Trust Comedy Night - London

A terminally-ill teenager who set up a bucket-list of things to do before he dies has raised more than £1.3 million for charity - and now comedian Jason Manford wants to help him reach £2 million.

Stephen Sutton was diagnosed with what was initially bowel cancer, when he was 15. Despite surgery, the aggressive cancer spread to different parts of his body and after further treatment and operations, doctors concluded it is incurable.

Fighting the disease, Mr Sutton decided to launch an inspirational fundraising campaign to give other people the motivation to "enjoy life".

Mr Sutton, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, created a bucket-list of 46 things he wanted to do before he died, setting up a charity fundraising website and a blog on social media site Facebook in January last year to keep people up to date with his progress.

He also set an initial fund-raising target of £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, but that target was smashed by a huge number of public donations as publicity around his cause spread.

He then aimed to reach a new target of £1 million and did so earlier today with more than 35,000 donations .

And now Jason Manford has called on the public to help Stephen make £2 million for the charity. He tweeted: "Let's not stop now! That 2 million make is in easy reach! Stephen gave us his 'sat thumbs up' lets give him one back." He also tweeted a picture of himself with a sheet of paper with the words: "#thumbsupforStephen. Txt STEPHEN to 70500 to donate £5."

Manford told Sky News earlier today he had met him before but it was Stephen's latest thumbs-up that caught his attention on his Facebook page, and his admiration for the teenager's campaign. He said: "Talk about inspirational. Some of the stuff he is coming out with for a lad of 19 was amazing. He wasn't even bitter about having a short life.

"It was like he wasn't angry he was having to leave the party early, he was just happy that he'd ever been invited. He got me, I guess and the fact that he'd already raised half a million pounds by himself is phenomenal."

Yesterday Mr Sutton posted his final blog entry after his condition worsened.

He wrote that tumours in his chest had caused his right lung to collapse, leaving him short of breath in bed after even the smallest amount of exertion, adding "unfortunately I haven't got much time left".

He added that future updates on the page would "probably be from a family member" but if he had the energy he would try and post a few tweets.

Thanking family, friends and fund-raisers he said: "That's it from me. But life has been good. Very good."

Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, praised the inspiring teenager and ambassador for the charity. She said: "I've had the privilege of meeting him and his positivity is always remembered by all that meet him or hear him speak.

"Stephen himself says he doesn't see the point in measuring life in time, rather that he'd prefer to measure a life in the difference someone makes. Stephen is making the biggest possible difference to Teenage Cancer Trust and the young people who need our help.

"We're a relatively small charity and Stephen has inspired his family, friends and communities up and down the country to raise over £1,300,000 and it's still climbing. This is a remarkable amount which will help us support many more young people with cancer."

Speaking previously, Mr Sutton said he disliked the term "dying from my cancer - I am living with my cancer, despite it being there".

His bucket-list included things like hugging an elephant, crowd-surfing in a rubber dinghy, playing the drums at a Wembley cup final, getting a tattoo and appearing on BBC drama Doctors.

Explaining why he set up his bucket-list, he said it was not so much for him but to show other people that life was for living.

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