Sheffield student spreading happiness in sick friend’s honour

Stephen Sutton with friends (from left to right) Chris Bullock, Stephen Sutton, James Andrews and Adam Coles
Stephen Sutton with friends (from left to right) Chris Bullock, Stephen Sutton, James Andrews and Adam Coles
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A student from Sheffield is taking to the streets to spread a little happiness in honour of a terminally-ill friend.

Stephen Sutton, aged 19, has touched the hearts of millions through his efforts to support fellow young cancer sufferers, helping him to raise £3.1 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Now his friend Adam Cole, also 19, and a sociology student at Sheffield University, has pledged to hand out free hugs, high-fives and handshakes on Fargate in the city centre on Saturday to mark National Good Gestures Day.

The event was first conceived by Stephen last year, and Adam will be on Fargate from 11am to 3pm.

“Ste is the most inspirational, ambitious and courageous person I’ve ever met,” said Adam.

“His first thought when being diagnosed with cancer was to turn his negative situation into a positive one for other people.

“I came back to Sheffield and everyone was talking to me about him – my amazing friend who’s been on the news before the Royal family and Manchester United! It’s unreal.

“I am so proud to be his friend.”

Adam, who went to school with Stephen in Staffordshire, visited his pal in hospital in Birmingham when his condition improved, and he has since been discharged.

Stephen, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 15, held the first Good Gestures Day alongside national charity Fixers last year and made a film about it.

“I hope Sheffield can do Ste proud and replicate the original event and put lots of smiles on people’s faces,” said Adam.

“With Ste’s friends all spread out across the country because of university, it just seems like the perfect opportunity to multiply his idea of spreading happiness.”

Before rallying and being allowed to return home, Stephen made an emotional farewell from his hospital bed.

Adam added: “The improvement I saw from seeing his final picture to seeing him able to sit up in his hospital bed was amazing and definitely a dramatic turnaround.”

More than 300 supporters will be handing out free hugs, high-fives and handshakes in 10 locations across the UK on Saturday.