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Fundraising

Stephen’s Story & Social Power

Does anyone out there follow Jason Manford on Facebook or Twitter? I have been following him for a while, he does post some funny stuff and the comments are always entertaining. It’s quite shocking how some people simply fail to have a sense of humour online isn’t it?

Well, yesterday Jason posted a status update about a guy called Stephen Sutton. He is a young lad of 19 who was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. Now usually I run for the hills (or click off the page/turn over the channel) as soon as I see or hear the “C word”. I am a hideous hypochondriac and my mother (and Aunty and grandparents) all died from cancer so generally I just can’t handle thinking about it. It’s a great big fat fear of mine and it’s probably one of the biggest contributing factors of my anxiety. Anyway, yesterday I didn’t runaway,I read on. There was a photo of Stephen with his thumbs up on a hospital bed and Jason was asking for donations. You see, when Stephen found out he was going to die he did something amazing, he remained positive and focused on living life and helping others. He made a bucket list and one of his missions was to raise £1million for teenage cancer. Amazingly he managed to raise over £500,000 all alone up to this point.

“Life shouldn’t be measured by time, it should be measured by what you achieve.” Stephen Sutton

Sadly, Stephen became weaker and he posted his final farewell on Facebook, reminding people to donate. Jason did the same, he posted links to the Stephen Sutton Fundraising Page and gave out the 70500 number to text STEPHEN to, so everyone could donate over their phone if they preferred.  As I said, I usually can’t bare to read about cancer, and I will be honest I haven’t still read #stephensstory fully, but what I have read has inspired me. I donated of course and so did thousands of people and the incredible news is Stephen has smashed his £1million goal! Incredible! Thanks to Stephen, social media, his inspirational character and heartbreaking story plus a few pushes from great influencers the goal was reached. The best news is Stephen has managed to cling on, he saw the results and according to his dad he said ‘cool’. Stephen has since tweeted and thanked everyone, but Stephen if it wasn’t for you it wouldn’t of happened, so thank you for all the good your funds are going to do for other teenagers that become warriors, fighting this terrible disease.

On a selfish note Stephen has made me look at myself. I have spent so many years living in fear, thinking I was dying, thinking I had a disease or that I would just drop dead any minute. That’s what I panic about a lot, but I have been getting a little better of late on that front. Unlike Stephen I have wasted a lot of my life, and what’s worse is the fact that there was nothing wrong with me, physically at least. I have lost a mother and a brother to diseases (Cancer and Sarcoidosis) and yet I still haven’t been able to cure myself of this panic filled life that stops me from living life to the full.

I am not going to be negative though, I just wanted to point out that Stephen has helped me. Each time the dread overpowers me I will think of his passion for life, even in the face of the eternal sleep. Thank you Stephen, What a legacy you will leave behind you.

 

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Nettie

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