I detest the ‘gong’ culture, but I love this one …


Stephen Sutton and his ever-optimistic thumbs up

Stephen Sutton and his ever-optimistic thumbs up

That Stephen Sutton should have raised £4m for cancer research is quite an amazing feat, but that he did it from a hospital bed whilst in the final stages of terminal cancer is astonishing. Every young person has the potential to shine if they try, but Stephen’s shine is really dazzling, making him every inch the star that most of us would wish to be.

Stephen is not alone. Arran Tosh was another Stephen Sutton, a person that should make us all feel humble, someone that cared about others, an optimist junkie if I can put it that way.  He knew nothing of his own illness when he started fundraising for Cancer Research UK, as the brain tumour was discovered and he was diagnosed but five days before he died. At the time of his death he had raised £600, but this has now grown to more than £13,000 after this child’s hopes and dreams were shadowed by his own death.

These are the kind of people who make life special, if you care to stop and reflect on how they dealt with themselves in the most difficult circumstances. That those so young can face such circumstances and shine through in such a remarkable way is humbling indeed.

Stephen has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. I feel distinctly uncomfortable seeing the ‘great and good’ having honours bestowed on them just for doing a job that they have been handsomely paid for, but I feel nothing but joy at Stephen’s recognition by all of us that he was special.

Sadly, Arran died before he could live out his dream of raising money for Cancer Research, a task he had set himself because his aunt had cancer, making it all the more tragic that he became a victim of the very life-threatening illness that he was raising money for.

Arran has gone, sadly, and now cannot be recognised by our honours system (why not?) as such awards are not given posthumously. All is not lost, though, because there is something we can all do. Don’t raise a glass to Arran, but please use this link to donate to his cause: http://www.justgiving.com/user/47251039

Arran Tosh 2001 -2013

Arran Tosh 2001 -2014

2 thoughts on “I detest the ‘gong’ culture, but I love this one …

  1. Thank you for highlighting how amazing my little brother was, as well as Stephen! Arran has now raised well over £18,000 on his just giving account and a Trust is being set up in his name so that other charities can also be helped

    • Hi Abbie, it is my pleasure and all I hope is that all of you can take some comfort for your loss that Arran was clearly such an uplifting and inspiring person. He – and Stephen – serve as an example to us all and, at almost 63, I can tell you that I am both humbled and strengthened by their courage and selflessness.

      I wish you and your family all the best. Your amazing little brother will live on in your hearts and minds.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s