People from around the world have been so moved to help a sick boy from the UK, an anonymous donor has just contributed thousands of dollars to get him the treatment that he needs in the United States.
For the last month, money has been pouring in for 4-year-old Zac Oliver. The youngster has been fighting an extremely rare form of leukemia that only affects about 200 people in the world.
Though he has been undergoing treatment in Telford, England, the chemotherapy sessions only guarantee him less than 25% chance of survival.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, however, offers a specialized kind of therapy that could raise his chances of survival up to 80%.
The cost of flying Zac and his family to the USA, as well as paying for the treatment and visas, came with a whopping price tag of $656,000 (£500,000).
The youngster’s parents, Mark Garbett and Hannah Oliver-Willets, broadcasted news of their plight across dozens of social media platforms, news outlets, and local communities – and thousands of people responded.
Over $184,000 (£140,648) was raised on Zac’s crowdfunding page, a third of which was reportedly donated by X-Factor television show host Simon Cowell. Zac’s hometown of Telford held an entire festival to raise money for his treatment. A local 13-year-old boy hoped to raise money for the cause by auctioning off an autographed football jersey – but the winning bidder was so moved by the teen’s motivation, he ended up donating the money and letting him keep the shirt.
The family finally reached their financial goal earlier this week when a mystery donor saw an article in the Daily Mail about Zac’s journey. Though the man requested that his identity be kept anonymous, he contributed the final $131,000 necessary to fly the boy to America for his treatment.
“It was a big shock to find out somebody had come forward pledging that amount of money,” Garbett told The Daily Mail.
“It’s fantastic, we can’t thank this man enough. We have been working around the clock fundraising for the last month, but Zac’s story being reported nationally has proved crucial.”
“Some people are just born special with a desire to help others,” Zac’s mother said of the “amazing” benefactor.
“They have given us a massive gift – the gift of life for Zac, hopefully,” she added. “But so did everybody else who helped us – the children who emptied their moneyboxes or sold their flapjacks at school cake sales.”
Once all of the donations are processed, Zac and his family will be flying to America in one month. Until then, he will be recovering from a final round of chemotherapy at the Princess Royal Hospital. His parents have added that any money leftover from the trip will be donated to help other sick children in need.
(WATCH Simon Cowell’s call to action below) – Photo by Mark Garbett
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