A teenager who touched the hearts of thousands of people as he battled cancer has died.
Brave Stephen Sutton dies, age 19
Fundraiser brought in £3million for Teenage Cancer Trust
Stephen Sutton, who was 19, raised more than £3.2million for the Teenage Cancer Trust after his story spread on social media sites.
His story caught the attention of celebrities, public figures and the general public, who donated in their thousands to his campaign. Stephen, from Staffordshire, died in his sleep last night, his mother said in a post on his Facebook page entitled Stephen's Story.
She says: "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. 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.”
Last night she prepared his supporters for the worst when she reported: "In the last 24 hours Stephen's condition has deteriorated to where he can no longer communicate through this page himself. As a family we wish for a certain amount of privacy for us to spend what time he has remaining with him. For all the love and goodwill sent his way, we thank you deeply."
Stephen, who had bowel cancer, originally set a fundraising target of £10,000, but after he posted what he thought would be his last ever picture – a thumbs up farewell selfie – the donations poured in. He also set a Guinness World Record for the most people making heart-shaped hand gestures at the same time.
You can still donate to Stephen's appeal here.