Stephen Sutton grew up in Burntwood, Staffordshire. He was an exceptional student, who achieved outstanding GCSE and A level grades. Following his cancer diagnosis, Stephen began fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Stephen died aged 19 (in May 2014), having raised over £3 million for the cause.
Shortly after finding out that his disease was incurable, Stephen made a Facebook page called “Stephen’s Story”. On the page he outlined a bucket-list of 46 things he wanted to achieve in the near future. His following grew exponentially and he inspired people all over the world with his positivity and his passion for life. In recognition of his inspirational work, Stephen was awarded the MBE, an honorary Doctorate and ‘Special Recognition’ in the Pride of Britain Awards.
In the most challenging of circumstances, Stephen (in his own words) chose to measure his life in achievements and in the difference he could make, rather than in time. On 24 January 2014, in a speech at London’s O2 arena, he described his first diagnosis as “… a good thing. It was a huge kick up the backside, it taught me to take nothing for granted, and gave me a lot of motivation for life”.
In addition to the many high profile events that he organised and attended, Stephen took every opportunity to engage and inspire people in his community, giving talks to schools and businesses and getting local people involved in his campaigns and fund-raising activities. Chase Terrace Technology College, the secondary school he had attended, was used as his unofficial HQ. When Stephen died, Burntwood ‘turned yellow’, with yellow ribbons tied to railings, gate posts and fences throughout the town, showing how much he was loved and admired by his community.
The Stephen Sutton Multi-Academy Trust is proud to bear Stephen’s name. Jane Sutton, Stephen’s mum, is a Member of the Trust Board. Jane has continued raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust, through Stephen’s Story.