This 19-year old has been fighting cancer for three years, but he’s not ready to give up just yet…

There are loads of stories of terminally ill children and teenagers battling through their last days of life and gaining the support of celebrities in the process, but this one is a little different.

19-year-old Stephen Sutton’s story has gone viral, raising more than you can imagine from absolute strangers and in the meantime, managed to tick off his “bucket list.”

The teenager was diagnosed with colorectal cancer when he was 15 and has since been fighting the disease.

Last year, Stephen was told his cancer was incurable, so he decided to make a bucket list because he felt although he didn’t have much time left, he wanted to motivate people to make the most of their time. So he started with this video:

Although Stephen’s spirits rose into this year, his health unfortunately hasn’t improved and in fact, he doesn’t have a lot of time left.

He’s ticked off the majority of his bucket list that includes things like a skydive, getting a tattoo and hugging an animal larger than himself, but one remained: raise £1 million ($1.68 million) for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity that seeks to make life easier for terminally ill teenagers.

The charity organises social events and provides support for those suffering from cancer and their families.

However, when the total hit around £700,000, Stephen’s lung collapsed and he was rushed to hospital. He didn’t think he was going to live to see his target reached.

On Monday, he wrote this post:

That was picked up by British comedian Jason Manford who he had met at one of Manford’s gigs last year.

Manford replied with a heartfelt message, saying Stephen could let go if he needed to. He’d already achieved so much.

This was picked up by the national press and led to a crazy social campaign began, led by Manford.

Manford’s Twitter feed was full of tweets from celebrities, covering the worlds of music, comedy and movies and using the hashtag #thumbsupforstephen.

Here are some of the best:

Thankfully, the support Stephen was getting from every celebrity under the sun motivated him to keep going and he posted on Thursday (April 24):

Not only that, his JustGiving account HIT £2 MILLION. This doubled his original target of £1 million. An amazing achievement.

Take a look at the messages posted on his page and you will be amazed at the generosity of strangers.

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The total at the time of writing was up to £2,328,696.71 ($3,916,867.87). Not bad for an appeal that was at £700,000 at the weekend.

This is a true demonstration of the kindness of strangers and the power of social to honor an absolute legend of a man.

There’s something for businesses to learn too. Kate Collins, the director of fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust told The Guardian:

“What we’ve learnt from the story is to respond quickly, know your supporters and make sure you don’t only check your social media feeds in office hours. This has happened because it wasn’t a manufactured attempt to “go viral”. People see through that. I am sure there will be other lessons too, but for now our focus is on making sure we honour the huge gift this young man has given us and the young people who need our help.”

Watch His Story In His Own Words

Stephen just uploaded this video to his YouTube channel in the last 3 hours.

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Author clare

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