Boy, 7, who fought leukaemia twice and had transplant to walk 77 miles for charity

Zack was very young when he was first diagnosed with leukaemia

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A seven-year-old boy who has had cancer twice will be walking 77 miles to raise money for a charity hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Toddler Zack Hine was in 2012 diagnosed with a rare type of leukaemia that only 20 per cent of sufferers get.

In the same year Zack achieved remission and managed to return to normal life but was four years later hit by the news he had relapsed and needed a bone marrow transplant.

He has been suffering from post-transplant complications since and is currently unable to go to school for fear he may contract Covid-19 due to his immune system being so weak, DevonLive reports.

Throughout his journey Zack and his parents Charmaine Greenwood and Liam Hine have been supported by CLIC Sargent.

Like many other charities this year it is facing hard times so Zack has decided to embark on a 77-mile walk to raise funds for the charity.

Zack is currently unable to go to school due to his weakened immune system putting him at risk of contracting Covid-19

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The walk is equivalent to the distance between Exeter and CLIC’s Home From Home in Bristol where the family has stayed on many occasions while Zack received hospital treatment.

Charmaine said: "It will be a huge task over the next few months. So far he has surprised us with his dedication, pushing through his tiredness and fatigue and has wanted to walk every day. We are very proud of him.

"Zack was initially diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia when he was two. He recovered really well and we got back to normal.

"Nearly four years later, and after a series of nasty viruses, and on April 1, 2019, we were told Zack had relapsed. We were once again moved straight to Bristol and we all spent eight months in CLICs home from home.

"Zack needed a bone marrow transplant the second time around to give him the best chance of remission. It was truly horrendous watching him go through this.

"Zack was incredible as always and was discharged to CLIC House so we could be close to the hospital. Immediately after his transplant Zack had a strong reaction to the new immune system called engraftment syndrome.

The seven-year-old boy will be walking 77 miles to raise money for the charity which has supported him through cancer

"He was quickly diagnosed with Graft vs Host Disease (GvHD) which means the new immune system was fighting Zack as a foreign body, as well any infection or disease.

"He has been living with GvHD of the skin and mild gut GvHD since his transplant which has meant driving back and forth to Bristol all year fortnightly on Mondays and Tuesdays.

"Zack has needed to take immunosuppressants and had ECP a type of immunotherapy since transplant and this has meant he is still not allowed to return to school.

"Zack’s mobility has been hugely affect by this treatment. Throughout this whole journey, CLIC Sargent has really been there for us."

With the Cancer Costs report from the charity finding a family spends an average of £600 a month on treatment for cancer, CLIC Sargent supported 177 families last year alone – giving out 89 financial grants to the value of £17,960.

In Devon 71 families stayed at a CLIC Sargent Homes from Home in Bristol last year, which is round the corner to the hospital and provides self-catering accommodation.

These are havens for patients and families during treatment and alleviate the financial cost of paying for alternative accommodation.

Stephanie Parker, CLIC Sargent Fundraising Engagement Manager for Devon said: “It has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone. Cancer doesn’t stop for the coronavirus and neither do we.

"We’re so grateful to all the wonderful CLIC Sargent supporters for continuing to get out and about and fundraise during these turbulent times.

"We are wishing Zack all the good luck, good weather and good cheer for all 77 miles. This is a huge challenge and we’re all behind him.

"Zack and his fundraising will make a massive difference for young people with cancer by helping us ensure they are getting the right support they need during these difficult times.”

To sponsor Zack for his challenge and for regular updates on Zack’s miles covered click here. For more information about CLIC Sargent’s work visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

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