The actor supports Jason Manford's Thumbs Up For Stephen campaign

Benedict Cumberbatch has joined celebrities lending their support to cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton‘s charity campaign.

Terminally-ill Stephen, 19, had aimed to raise £1 million for Teenage Cancer Trust via his JustGiving page – but the total has now smashed the site’s record and is close to £3 million.

Stephen touched his Facebook followers when he wrote a poignant final post last week, in which he explained that he wouldn’t be able to ‘see out’ his task after making £570,000.

He said that life had been ‘very good’ and the message was accompanied by a photo of him giving a thumbs up from his hospital bed.

But cash started flooding in when stars helped to publicise the cause, in a bid to get the total up to £1 million before the teenager passed away.

Comic Jason Manford started social media campaign Thumbs Up For Stephen, which asked people to write how to donate on a piece of paper and post a snap of themselves holding it.

Now stars including Benedict, 37, Simon Pegg, Chris O’Dowd, Jack Whitehall, Ronnie Wood, David Tennant and Coldplay have all shared their selfies.

Amazingly, Stephen‘s condition has improved a little and his older brother Chris, 21, says he reckons the support has ‘certainly had an effect’.

‘This morning I am relying on NO external oxygen to breath at all and I’m feeling bloody fantastic!!’ wrote Stephen on Facebook yesterday.

‘The doctors have discussed what’s happened and the only plausible conclusion is that I’ve literally coughed up a tumour (probably along with bits of infection etc) that was blocking my airway.

‘It’s still a case of taking each day as it comes, but at the moment the days just keep on coming!!’

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Anna Duff