The #1 item on 19-year-old cancer patient Stephen Sutton's bucket list was to raise £10,000 ($16,800) for charity. This week, the teen reached and surpassed his goal several times over.
Stephen, from Burntwood, England, was diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 15 and has been battling his illness for the last four years.
After discovering in January 2013 that his condition was incurable, Stephen decided to compose a bucket list detailing all the things he wanted to do with the precious time he had left. Some of his items included experiences like "Get a tattoo," "Go to Australia" and "Throw a massive party for all my friends."
Stephen's enthusiasm for helping others while battling cancer inspired people from all over the world to get involved. The #thumbsupforstephen campaign encourages donors to post selfies of themselves flashing a "thumbs up" while holding signs spreading the word about Stephen's cause.
In one year, Stephen raised £500,000 ($840,000), way more than his initial goal. This past week, his fundraising efforts have surpassed £1 million ($1,679,800). As of this writing, he's raised £1,979,285 ($3,324,802).
"Teenage Cancer Trust have helped me hugely throughout my own cancer battle and helped shape who I am and my positive attitude today," he writes on his fundraising page. "They offer hope and a sense of community to young people with cancer like myself, and directly help face associated pragmatic and emotional issues."
Stephen is ecstatic that he's still alive to see how many people he's reached and how much he's raised. He hopes to raise even more, and remains focused despite his deteriorating health.
Earlier this week, it looked like he may have taken a turn for the worse when his right lung collapsed. Stephen posted what he called his final "thumbs up" photo and a goodbye note to his followers. "That's it from me," he wrote. "But life has been good. Very good."
Thankfully, he's feeling much better, though he's still in a vulnerable state. "My recovery has been positive and quite unexpected," he writes on his Facebook page. "I am very limited in what I can do and am still permanently hooked up to oxygen. But I am in high spirits and blessed to have so much love and support around me. To get to see the million pound fundraising target being reached was just phenomenal!"
As for the other 45 items on his bucket list, he's accomplished 33 of them, but he's no longer that interested in pursuing them and would rather focus his attention on his charitable endeavors. "The main thing I want to do is help others," he writes.
In his 19 years, Stephen has done more good than most people do in a lifetime. The impact he's had will forever be felt.
If you'd like to support Stephen and donate to a good cause, visit his fundraising page.