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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