A front page story in the Express and Star today mistakenly reported that the mother of teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton, who famously blogged his attempts to complete a bucket list before his death from the disease, had also been diagnosed with cancer.
Jane Sutton was speaking to parents and staff at Lichfield Cathedral School at the weekend when she made the announcement, according to the mistaken report in the Staffordshire edition of Britain’s biggest-selling regional daily.
The Teenage Cancer Trust, for which Stephen raised millions after his story became national news, said: “There is absolutely no truth in the mistaken reports that Jane Sutton has cancer. She is well and training for her next challenge, climbing Kilimanjaro in October, to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.”
The story was also picked up by the Daily Mirror, which is understood to have taken it from a news agency, and Mail Online. All versions of the story have now been taken down.
Stephen died in May 2014, aged 19, but not before raising more than £3m for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
His actions and attracted the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron and saw him awarded a posthumous MBE. Fundraising on his Just Giving page is now at more than £5m.
Express and Star editor Keith Harrison said: “The story was published in good faith, following a presentation Jane gave in Lichfield over the weekend.
“The correct checks were not made prior to publication and, clearly, there was a misunderstanding leading to the mistake.
“We have apologised to Jane and will also be carrying a correction and printed apology tomorrow. The Express and Star will also be making a donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust.”