Two-day vigil for inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton concludes

Published 30 May 2014  |  
Stephen's Story / Facebook
19-year-old Stephen Sutton lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

This afternoon sees the conclusion of a two-day vigil held in honour of inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton, who lost his battle with cancer on May 14.

Thousands gathered at Lichfield Cathedral and at 11am the crowd – joined by many more on social media – held their thumbs up; Stephen's signature move.

The teenager was diagnosed with incurable cancer while studying for his GCSEs and soon began a campaign to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He documented his struggle for survival online and support poured in from all over the world; he raised £3 million before passing away earlier this month. Since his death, that figure has risen to over an incredible £4 million.

Stephen's mother asked supporters to "do something that makes you and others happy" today to honour her son, and #ThumbsUpForStephen trended on Twitter.

"#ThumbsUpForStephen Rest in peace, rise in glory" tweeted Rev Kate Bottley, star of Channel 4's Gogglebox.

"One big #ThumbsUpForStephen to celebrate Stephen Sutton's incredible achievements and positivity!" read the Teenage Cancer Trust's official Twitter account.

Towns and cities across Staffordshire, Stephen's home county, have been covered with yellow ribbons to celebrate his life, and his coffin arrived at the Cathedral yesterday in a carriage drawn by four white horses with yellow headdresses.

Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, told mourners that Stephen was "an inspiration" who taught others "how to make the unacceptable, beautiful".

"He was one of those very rare people who've helped us live our lives with generosity," he added.

"Rituals and gestures don't change the world by themselves, but they can change us, and we can change the world."

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