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Shropshire Star comment: Zac’s the spirit you lovely lot

By Shropshire Star | Health | Published:

Half way already. That is a magnificent effort.

At this rate – well, let’s not count any chickens, because there is still a long way to go and we don’t want there to be any let-up in the fundraising.

Salopians have however shown their generosity and have taken the plight of four-year-old Zac Oliver of Broseley to their hearts. Already the fund which aims to enable him to go to America for groundbreaking specialist treatment which is not available to him on the NHS has passed £250,000.

Zac’s the spirit!

It is an incredible and touching level of support for the family. Last week’s Wear Red for Zac event was a tremendous success. A host of other events are in the pipeline.

Zac has a very rare form of childhood leukaemia called Near Haploid.

Doctors in Philadelphia say the Cart T Cell therapy will give Zac a greater chance of survival than chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant which, at the moment, are his only options in the UK.

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The response of Shropshire people is not surprising.

In this case it is an effort to help a young boy with his life ahead of him. But remember, some of the most valued community health assets which Shropshire enjoys today were the result of mass fundraising – things like the cancer unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Severn Hospice, and Hope House children’s respite hospice.

The Midlands Air Ambulance, which has saved an incalculable number of lives by getting casualties to hospital in the golden hour, is yet another example.

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There are so many worthy causes for fundraising. Long may these good works continue. There is a simple nobility in helping those in need, like Zac.

Zac is not the only youngster with a story to touch our hearts, and deserving of our sympathy and our help. We can aspire to help them all, but try as we might, may not be able to.

There is a story of a woman walking along a beach on which thousands of starfish have been stranded by the tide. As she walks, she starts throwing them back into the sea.

“Why are you doing that?” somebody asks. “What you’re doing makes no difference.”

“It makes a difference to this one,” she replies, throwing another starfish back in the sea.

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