29/05/2014 Midlands Today


29/05/2014

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News at 6.00pm. For this evening, it's goodbye are from me, on

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Hello and welcome to a special edition

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of Midlands Today, on BBC one and the BBC News Channel ` coming

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A vigil for Stephen Sutton, the teenager from Staffordshire who

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raised millions for charity as he fought cancer.

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He was an extraordinary young man who has had a great impact on

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And hometown pride ` a sea of yellow as Stephen's friends in

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Yellow is one of the brightest colours you will get. He liked it so

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why not? Everywhere you go you will see some were yellow and it will

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remind you of Stephen. Good evening from Lichfield

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Cathedral as friends and family gather to say a final goodbye to

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Stephen Sutton, the inspirational teenager from Staffordshire who

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raised millions of pounds for Within the next 20 minutes,

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Stephen's body is due to arrive The coffin will be moved inside

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at seven o'clock for a short service Stephen's mother, Jane,

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wants the next 24 hours to be a colourful celebration

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of her son's remarkable young life. And that's a message that's clearly

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been embraced in Stephen's home town of Burntwood,

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just four miles from here. Giles Latcham is there for us this

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evening at Stephen's old school. Giles, a lot

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of fond memories there tonight. It is half term here at Chase

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Terrace Technology College. You will have been dropping off donations. We

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are hearing amazing news that the total sum raised for Teenage Charity

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Trust is ?4 million. Other people have come to put down flowers and

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visit the memorial garden. It is a always have the best way to help

:02:24.:04:43.

myself is to help others. One of Burntwood's keenest cyclist is going

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the extra mile. Cyclists are to take to the road this weekend with yellow

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ribbons on their handlebars. He came out of the local health service and

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smiled at me and that inspired me. Britons won't last forever but

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people here are determined to remember with pride, Stephen Sutton,

:05:06.:05:25.

one of the on. He said it wasn't about how you lived but what you

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achieved. People here are inspired by those remarks. In their streets

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here, his life will be long remembered and celebrated. Because

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of his illness... I'm joined now by Emma Scholes,

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who was Stephen's head of year during his time at

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Chase Terrace Technology College. What are your memories of Stephen? I

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have many memories of him. The only time I ever saw him at first was to

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say well done. He was involved in a lot of the celebrations for

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achievements that we did. Towards the end of year ten when he started

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to become poorly then we started to work more closely with them to

:06:37.:06:39.

support the best way we could as a school. He was 15 when he was first

:06:40.:06:47.

diagnosed. How did you cope? He just said to stop he got on with it. He

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was having chemotherapy every fortnight and the only time he had

:06:53.:06:57.

off school was the days when he was hooked up to the drip. In fairness,

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if we had allowed him to bring it into school he probably would have.

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Is it accurate to say he was inspirational? The first three words

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in his record of achievement were awesome, amazing and inspiring. Not

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many people could get away with that but he could. Those words are

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reflected by the number of people turning up already. This vigil will

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continue until tomorrow afternoon. Hazard taking you by surprise, the

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scale? I don't think by surprise but it seems surreal. One of his friends

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said to me a few weeks ago, in one breath they talk about the Royal

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family and in the next they are talking about Stephen. He was just

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one of our class of 2011. What kind of support have you been able to

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offer, or the skill, for former pupils and current pupils? There is

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the memory wall that students have been putting messages on. From the

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time when he was first taken into hospital, we have had fantastic

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support from the local hospice, and crews have been in schools, and

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Teenage Charity Trust have offered their services. And he raised a

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phenomenal amount of money. We will get back to that as quickly

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as we can. Stephen created headlines around

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the world with his fundraising His original aim was ?10,000, then

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when his condition deteriorated, he The donations continued to grow

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at an incredible pace. Money was sent

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from nearly 100 different countries and the fundraising target is now

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over ?4 million. Bob Hockenhull reflects

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on a short but remarkable life. Stephen Sutton didn't view

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his cancer as a death sentence. It was instead an opportunity

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to live life to the full. It was a huge kick up

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the backside that gave me a lot But his positivity extended way

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beyond enjoying himself in Ibiza. Stephen's fundraising campaign

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means the Teenage Cancer Trust Today the charity spoke

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for the first time since his death. To have raised ?4 million is

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an extraordinary amount of money and nobody has ever done

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that in our 24 year history. However,

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as important as the money is the awareness that Stephen has raised

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the fact that people get cancer. `` young people. He has shone a

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light on that and was able to so and simply articulate what the use

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are for a young person with cancer, doing it with great humility,

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courage and above all humour. Stephen told Midlands Today he had

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no hesitation in inviting the world I'm proud of the feeling I get just

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by raising all this money and in a way actually it's a thank you

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to Teenage Charity Trust because in a way actually it's a thank you

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to Teenage Cancer Trust because they supported me when I needed it

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and without them I wouldn't be here Always modest

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about his own achievements. But his friends said he would have

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been smiling inside as donations On the outside,

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he doesn't tend to let it show On the inside, I think he'll be very

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excited and just really happy that his positivity and the message he

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wants to send to people of making the most of the time you

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have is getting as far as possible. Stephen's fundraising activities

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had him reaching for the skies. His bucket list also included

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playing the drums in front Stephen's fundraising activities

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had him reaching for the skies. His bucket list also included

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playing the drums in front But as his mum recalled he never

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turned his back He used to make sure that he missed

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as little school as possible. For example, when he was first

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in Birmingham Children's Hospital, he was taking his GCSEs. He'd

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be in hospital, and not coming home sometimes quite late. On a Wednesday

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evening and he had had chemotherapy for three days

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but he would get up for school. No longer here, but his

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life`affirming message lives on. I don't really want to die but if

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my story teaches others not to take Amy Cole is with some of the people

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touched by Stephen's story who are Within the last hour, the crowd has

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really started to build and they're stretching right around the corner.

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People touched by his story and inspired by his relentless optimism.

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Let's speak to able now. You are here wearing yellow. How did he

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inspire you? I thought he was an amazing young man and he showed what

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young people can actually do when they put their minds to it. He has

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done a lot of good. Did you meet him personally? On a professional level,

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last July. He was amazed that somebody as far out as Walsall

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recognised him and he knew who he was back then. You gave money and

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you physically came here with your family. Why is it so special?

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Nathaniel goes to the same school. I thought he was inspirational and I

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want to show my respect. You are here as well. Why is it so important

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for you? I just followed his story. I didn't meet him but he is an

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amazing young man that has brought the country and the local community

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together for such a good cause. Stephen talked about people

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measuring their life not in terms of time but achievement stop what has

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he achieved? Huge amounts. He has made people think about how they

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should enjoy every minute of their lives. You have also come here. He

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is an remarkably brave young man. He has done everything he could to help

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children in hospitals with the same. His optimism was so

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incredible. Yes, amazing. I don't know how he was so brave. His family

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must be getting some comfort now. You are quite cheerful. Yes. ``

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upset. People will pay their respects and sign the book of

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condolence. In a moment I'll be joined by the

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Bishop of Lichfield, who has helped And this is what they have put in

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place and how you can be involved. And this is what they have put in

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place and how you can be involved. The vigil for Stephen starts tonight

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at seven o'clock and the cathedral People who want to pay their

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respects tomorrow at the cathedral And the Teenage Cancer Trust are

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planning a moment of celebration They are hoping people touched by

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Stephen's story will give a thumbs up for Stephen at this time and then

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post their photos on Twitter using I'm joined now by Rt Rev Jonathan

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Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield. This is an extraordinary event. It

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is. And welcome to the cathedral. It seems it is just the right kind of

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place for an event like this. How did this vigil, bought? ``, bought?

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The idea came to the Dean and colleagues of mine who organise and

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run the cathedral and I think they came up with the idea that we might

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do something here that would be what the family wants and express some of

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their feelings felt around the world and especially in this corner of

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Staffordshire. This scale of memorial event is usually something

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preserved for someone who has been in public office for many years. I

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couldn't help but think of Princess Diana and the kind of emotion which

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surrounded her death. This is different of course but there is a

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touch of that. Mixed emotions here this evening. Yes, people who are

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crying and people who are giving the thumbs up. There is an area of

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celebration about this vigil. The family said they wanted that.

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Stephen said he wanted to put the fun back into funeral. How difficult

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is it to get the town right and reflect the emotions of everybody?

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You will need to tell us afterwards. All funerals have a mix of sorrow

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and Thanksgiving. Of course all of us know it is going to be our turn

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one day and will we be proud of our lives in the way that he could be?

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Grief is a personal thing. To some people, this public show of emotion

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might seem strange. I hope they would go along with the wishes of

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everybody here. We are not here for ourselves but to mourn and celebrate

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and show solidarity with the family. So many words have been used to

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describe him over the last few weeks. How would you sum up his

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contribution? Inspiration. Often we feel lost in an fuelling world and

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you will at what the inspired us to do. It shows that many others can ``

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any of us can achieve more than we thought.

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During the programme we have heard a lot about Stephen's positive

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attitude, which inspired so many to join in the fundraising.

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Through his blog, Stephen shared his experience of living with

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cancer but, as he wrote, everyone's cancer journey is different.

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Joanne Writtle has been to meet 15`year`old Mohini Samani,

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a Black Country teenager who has beaten leukaemia.

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It's really hard to get your head around but I chose to grow up

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because I wanted to take control of my life.

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Mohini Samani was just nine when she was diagnosed with acute

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Two and a half years in theatre pretty much every week.

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Drips, lines, tablets, it wasn't nice but it just becomes your life.

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Shockingly it just becomes so normal.

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Despite missing chunks of schooling, Mohini is now in the middle of

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taking ten GCSEs, spending half`term studying at home in Smethwick.

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I didn't want it to restrict me so I put the work in

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like anybody else would. I spend my life working.

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Mohini helps the cancer charity which helped her,

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cutting her hair off after it had grown back to raise ?1,000.

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At CLIC Sargent events she met celebrities like Eddie Jordan

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The charity provided her with a worker to confide in.

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All of a sudden it's like you're on this little island

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and nobody else understands what's happening. Your friends don't know

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what to say and often your family members don't know what to say. To

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have somebody they're willing to sit and listen makes the world of

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Stephen Sutton's story has touched Mohini.

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I think I can empathise with him and and I admire him for

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According to CLIC Sargent, ten children and young people in the UK

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But survival rates are good ` eight out of ten will expect to beat

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The charity estimates there are 10,000 survivors of childhood cancer

:20:45.:20:48.

Cancer is something he will never understand until you experience it

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and I don't want anybody to have to do that. But people do and if I can

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make their journey just a little easier because I understand then I

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will make it easier for them as much as I can. She still has regular

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checkups. I am in remission but there is never a second day. It

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could come back tomorrow. I have accepted it. My life will never be

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normal or easy but it is my life and I wouldn't really have it any other

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way. A big part

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of Stephen's motivation was a bucket list of what he called 46 weird

:21:36.:21:38.

and wonderful things I want to do. He completed many of them including

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skydiving, writing a book and drumming in front of a huge crowd,

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which he did very impressively. He also wanted to set a world

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record, which he also achieved. He became a celebrity around the

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world, but for many of those who gathered in the grounds of his old

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school in Burntwood a few weeks ago, Hello, everyone. I'll keep it short

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and sweet. Thanks for coming. It's good to be here.

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Hundreds turned up to help Stephen become a world record holder.

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It was to be the 34th and final item he managed to tick

:22:27.:22:29.

People want to come together and support him because he is one in a

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That afternoon was a moment nobody dreamt would ever happen.

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Less than a fortnight before Stephen had posted a final goodbye message

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So to have him there meant the world to his mates.

:22:49.:22:55.

It is such a great feeling to think that two weeks ago he had been taken

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to hospital and we thought we would have to be here ourselves. The now

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he has been part of his own record is amazing. Incredibly positive.

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More than anyone I've ever met. Look what he has achieved. Who else has

:23:14.:23:18.

In his 19 years Stephen Sutton achieved more than many

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He was an inspiration to millions, a role model to look up to

:23:24.:23:28.

and with the help of his friends, a world record holder.

:23:29.:23:37.

In a few minutes Stephen's coffin will be moved inside

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the cathedral where a short service will mark the start of the vigil.

:23:44.:23:48.

It is just coming in now. Let's take a moment to reflect on the reaction

:23:49.:23:55.

as his body arrives. In a few moments, his coffin will be

:23:56.:24:26.

taken inside the cathedral. A short sermon he will take place. Coverage

:24:27.:24:32.

will continue on the BBC News Channel. I'll be back after the

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weather forecast. We have had reports of fairly

:24:39.:24:51.

prolific showers in the region. The south`west has seen some of the

:24:52.:24:55.

worst. This warning is in place until nine tonight of heavy

:24:56.:25:03.

downpours. For a couple of days at least afterwards we have a respite

:25:04.:25:07.

as high`pressure builds up from the West. The arrival of the next system

:25:08.:25:13.

on Sunday appears to be coming sooner than expected. It could turn

:25:14.:25:20.

out to be a more wet day than drive. Across this period, the temperatures

:25:21.:25:23.

are looking more respectable for the time of year. These are the showers

:25:24.:25:35.

affecting the region tonight. Affecting southern counties at the

:25:36.:25:39.

moment. They will fade of the next few hours leaving us with a dry end

:25:40.:25:43.

to the night. A combination of moisture and warmth means

:25:44.:25:49.

temperatures dropping to a minimum of 10 Celsius and there could be

:25:50.:25:52.

mist and fog patches in low`lying areas. Tomorrow is a daytime version

:25:53.:26:01.

of the night. A lot of cloud. It all looks much more drive. Temperatures

:26:02.:26:14.

will be fairly mild 15`17dC. For Saturday, marginally better with a

:26:15.:26:21.

bit more brightness and slightly higher temperatures. In spite of the

:26:22.:26:29.

cloud, temperatures in the high teens on Sunday. Hopefully it will

:26:30.:26:35.

be a dry day but the system from the West could arrive sooner in which

:26:36.:26:36.

case it could be right. `` more wet. We appear to have lost the seat. ``

:26:37.:27:08.

live feed. We can go back now. It shows the mixture of styles

:27:09.:27:14.

happening here. We have the bell toll in the background. The service

:27:15.:27:19.

will begin. It is a fantastic atmosphere and I am so glad to be

:27:20.:27:23.

here. A celebration of a remarkable young life. Thanks for your time

:27:24.:27:30.

this evening. If you want to come to Lichfield Cathedral to join in the

:27:31.:27:34.

celebration of Stephen's life it will be open until midnight tonight

:27:35.:27:41.

and reopens from 7am to 7pm tomorrow. Stephen's mother said she

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wanted

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