Stephen Sutton was a teenager suffering from terminal cancer who could have retreated into himself and lived his last few months quietly. But he showed more bravery than many of us could ever dream of when he faced his condition head-on, and turned his story into an internet phenomenon that netted cancer charities literally millions of pounds in donations.
The Bucket List
It all started with Stephen’s Facebook page about his journey as he pursued the items on his ‘Bucket List’. Interest from the internet community grew, Stephen’s blog skyrocketed, and the website stephensstory.co.uk was born. He achieved amazing and exciting things – he got a tattoo, skydived, visited CERN, and was an extra on Doctor Who. However, his first item was fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The Final Total
It’s still rising. He smashed his original aim of £10,000, and raised the target to £1m…which he then beat by over 400%. The current total is £4.23m. There’s no way of calculating how much the ‘real’ total is, in terms of the people who have been inspired to pursue their own projects.
Stephen’s story started on Facebook. Thousands of people ‘liked’ his page within days of him setting it up, and we’re raising awareness in the same way with ‘The Wait’ Facebook page.
We’re not expecting to reach anywhere close to Stephen’s success (he got an MBE..! We don’t deserve an MBE!!) but we’ve been inspired by his story. What a dude. It shows what how having a good idea and putting in some serious elbow grease can capture the imaginations of the internet community. It gives you faith that we can club together and do something good.
We’re raising money for Cancer Research UK by compiling an anthology of poetry. We need as many submissions as possible to make it a success. If you’re not sure how poetic you are, have a look at our Advice for Poets blogs and get scribbling for cancer.
On the menu to the left, you’ll find the dedications wall and the submissions page – please have a peek at them both and consider submitting something!