29/05/2014 Midlands Today


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


Hello and welcome to a special edition


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


A vigil for Stephen Sutton, the teenager from Staffordshire who


raised millions for charity as he fought cancer.


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


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


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


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


remind you of Stephen. Good evening from Lichfield


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


Stephen Sutton, the inspirational teenager from Staffordshire who


raised millions of pounds for Within the next 20 minutes,


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


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


wants the next 24 hours to be a colourful celebration


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


been embraced in Stephen's home town of Burntwood,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


was having chemotherapy every fortnight and the only time he had


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


as we can. Stephen created headlines around


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


when his condition deteriorated, he The donations continued to grow


at an incredible pace. Money was sent


from nearly 100 different countries and the fundraising target is now


over ?4 million. Bob Hockenhull reflects


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


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


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


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


beyond enjoying himself in Ibiza. Stephen's fundraising campaign


means the Teenage Cancer Trust Today the charity spoke


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


an extraordinary amount of money and nobody has ever done


that in our 24 year history. However,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and without them I wouldn't be here Always modest


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


been smiling inside as donations On the outside,


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


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


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


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


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


playing the drums in front Stephen's fundraising activities


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


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


turned his back He used to make sure that he missed


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


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


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


evening and he had had chemotherapy for three days


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


together for such a good cause. Stephen talked about people


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


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


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


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


children in hospitals with the same. His optimism was so


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


respects tomorrow at the cathedral And the Teenage Cancer Trust are


planning a moment of celebration They are hoping people touched by


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Staffordshire. This scale of memorial event is usually something


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


any of us can achieve more than we thought.


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


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


Through his blog, Stephen shared his experience of living with


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


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


a Black Country teenager who has beaten leukaemia.


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


because I wanted to take control of my life.


Mohini Samani was just nine when she was diagnosed with acute


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


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


Shockingly it just becomes so normal.


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


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


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


like anybody else would. I spend my life working.


Mohini helps the cancer charity which helped her,


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


At CLIC Sargent events she met celebrities like Eddie Jordan


The charity provided her with a worker to confide in.


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


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


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


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


Stephen Sutton's story has touched Mohini.


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


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


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


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


Cancer is something he will never understand until you experience it


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


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


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


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


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


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


way. A big part


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


That afternoon was a moment nobody dreamt would ever happen.


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


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


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


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


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


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


In his 19 years Stephen Sutton achieved more than many


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


weather forecast. We have had reports of fairly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


affecting the region tonight. Affecting southern counties at the


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


to the night. A combination of moisture and warmth means


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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