THE mother of a teenager who raised millions of pounds for a cancer charity has said her "heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain" after he lost his three-and-a-half-year fight against the disease.
The death of 19-year-old Stephen Sutton also prompted countless tributes from political leaders, sports stars and celebrities who backed his campaign to help the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Stephen, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, died early yesterday, three days after being re-admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties caused by a re-growth of his tumours. As donations to Stephen's JustGiving page continued to rise, passing £3.3 million, his family thanked the hundreds of thousands of supporters who backed his social media campaign.
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In a message posted on Facebook yesterday, his mother Jane wrote: "My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning. The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey."
Stephen was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer aged 15.