Mystery Donor Gives $130K to Make Sure Boy Gets Treatment

Zac Oliver's family and friends have raised enough for promising leukemia treatment
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2018 6:03 PM CDT
Zac Oliver is shown in a screengrab from the JustGiving fundraising campaign to raise money for his treatment.   (JustGiving)

(Newser) – A 4-year-old UK boy is $130,000 closer to traveling to the US for cancer treatment after a mystery donor contributed that amount to the cause. Zac Oliver was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May, but he has the near-haploid strain of the disease, which affects just one in 200 childhood leukemia patients. He is thought to be the only child in the UK with that strain of the illness, the BBC reports. Friends and family have been working on raising the more than $650,000 needed to get Zac to Philadelphia for a promising new treatment the UK is not yet ready to deliver, according to a JustGiving crowdfunding campaign for the little boy. Zac's mom, Hannah Oliver-Willetts, says she was recently shocked with a phone call from someone who told her "not to worry" and to "pack her bags."

Hours after the call, the massive donation appeared in the family's bank account, she says; the amount reportedly pushed the total to what the family needs to afford the CAR-T therapy and all associated costs. The 4-year-old's plight had already been getting big attention, with Simon Cowell pledging about $65,000 to the cause. With the goal reached, "This means that as soon as all of the money which people have raised and told us about has been banked, we will be able to show The hospital of Philadelphia and get financial clearance," Zac's mom posted on Facebook, per the Shropshire Star. "As soon as we get financial clearance, we can send this to the Embassy and get Zacs visa confirmed. ... We honestly can't express just how happy and excited we are right now to be able to say that we WILL be able to get Zac the treatment he needs to have the best chance of survival." (This man sang one Garth Brooks song for 36 hours straight for a great reason.)

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