A Nottingham Trent University student diagnosed with two cancers has been given a boost by the efforts of his friends.
Print journalism student Zac Forskitt was diagnosed with a mediastinal germ cell tumour on his chest last month.
A few days later after further tests the 20-year-old was also told he had a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Only one other person in the world has been diagnosed with both cancers at the same time.
An Anthony Nolan stem cell registration was held at NTU’s Clifton campus to raise awareness for stem cell research as Zac may need a transplant.
Tony Knight is a stem cell donation recipient. He underwent treatment in February for relapsed lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and knows just how important it is to make sure potential donors register.
He said: “It potentially saved my life. It’s a tremendous feeling that somebody that I don’t know, who doesn’t know me, is prepared to make the commitment to allow me potentially many more years of life.”
Friends of Zac, who is currently undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at Nottingham City Hospital, have come together in their numbers to raise awareness and money in his aid.
Flatmate Tom Patrick has been to visit Zac in hospital and said the support received has been heartwarming.
The 19-year-old said: “Originally he wanted his close friends to register for Anthony Nolan. He just wanted us to order the package and do it at home. But since all of this has happened it’s probably been really overwhelming to him.”
Some 329 students signed up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register.
Northampton-born Zac is part of NTU Cricket team and a massive fan of sport.
Trent Cricket Society has been a driving force in the campaign for BacZac. A Justgiving page created to raise £300 so Zac could buy a Playstation 4 to make his bedridden hospital stay that bit better reached the target in half an hour.
Donations have now topped £4,500.
The BacZac campaign has not only reached the friends of Zac, but also some celebrity faces too.
He has received signed cards from the England rugby team, Everton Football Club, as well as tweets from famous faces such as Gladiator star Russell Crowe.
More information on how to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register is available here.