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Petition urges Stephen knighthood

This Is Local London: Cancer patient Stephen Sutton, 19, should be knighted, according to an online petition Cancer patient Stephen Sutton, 19, should be knighted, according to an online petition

A petition calling for a terminally-ill teenager to be knighted after raising millions for charity has attracted 27,000 signatures in two weeks.

Stephen Sutton's campaigning has collected more than £3.2 million for the Teenager Cancer Trust, earning support from well-wishers including Prime Minister David Cameron who praised his "incredible" zest for life.

Now supporters have set up a petition calling for the Queen to bestow a knighthood on Stephen.

John Millar, author of the change.org petition, said: "I do not know Stephen, but I wish I did.

"He is a true hero and it would be an honour to address him as 'Sir'."

In April, the 19-year-old's condition worsened and he posted "a final thumbs-up picture" to social media from his hospital bed, sparking off a huge wave of public interest in his story.

Stephen then made what he described as "a quite miraculous" recovery, even coughing up one of his tumours and later undergoing successful surgery.

He was well enough to be discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham earlier this month.

Stephen has admitted "there is no miracle cure" but is continuing trying to raise awareness about cancer and motivate others while able.

Mr Millar added: "Stephen is terminally ill and his dying wish was to make people aware of the horror of teenage cancer.

"With dignity and wit, he has raised over £3 million in days.

"He deserves to know that the nation has taken him to heart and that he will live always in memory for doing something amazing."

The teenager was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 15 but despite treatment the tumours spread with doctors telling him the disease was terminal in 2012.

Stephen said: "My disease is very advanced and will get me eventually, but I will try my hardest to be here as long as possible.

"I haven't died yet, the journey continues, so I guess I'm needed a bit longer."

His story has attracted support from celebrities including comedians Jason Manford, Russell Brand and Stephen Fry and the music mogul Simon Cowell.

So far Stephen, who is from Burntwood in Staffordshire, has raised £3,220,253 for charity according to his justgiving.com page - his original target was £10,000.

He had been working through a 46-point bucket list but recently said it had "taken a bit of a back seat" so he could concentrate on helping others.

The teenager recently led a successful attempt to break the world record for the number of people making a heart-shaped hand gesture, setting a new benchmark of 554.

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