A boy who battled cancer has raised more than £6,000 for charity – by bouncing on a pogo stick.
Zac Blyton jumped up and down for ten minutes on the hour, every hour for a whole day – completing 7,800 ‘boings’.
The seven-year-old decided to take on the challenge after being treated for bowel cancer himself.
Zac, from Bicester, Oxon., was diagnosed during the first lockdown and underwent chemotherapy for four months – which he called “boring”.
He is now in remission so was able to start his fundraising drive, which has raised thousands of pounds for Oxford Hospitals Charity.
Donations have flooded in since his efforts last weekend (21/11), during which he completed an impressive 1331 bounces – on the bounce.
Mum Jenni said: “It was a really special day and I am so proud of Zac. This challenge has really given him something to look forward to and he has loved seeing the fundraising total grow.”
Zac first picked up a pogo stick during the first lockdown and quickly fell in love with the activity.
But, during spring, things changed.
From being a bundle of energy Zac stopped eating, started feeling lethargic and had very painful stomach cramps.
A trip to Horton General Hospital in May resulted in X-rays, ultrasounds and a CT scan, before he was then taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Jenni said: “We were transferred by ambulance in the middle of the night to the John Radcliffe.
“Soon he was in theatre for a biopsy and the insertion of a Hickman Line, or as he calls it his ‘wiggly’ – a tube in the chest that makes getting medicine in and blood out easier.”
The biopsy results showed Zac had non-Hodgkin Burkitt lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in his bowel.
Jenni added: “This was an aggressive cancer that needs to be treated in an aggressive way.
“So there were long stays in hospital, undergoing a really tough treatment regime, with gallons of chemotherapy drugs, countless lumbar punctures, and scans, tests and the odd blood transfusion along the way.
“It is so hard to watch your child going through so much, I would have done anything to swap places with him, but we were supported every step of the way by the amazing staff on the ward.
“Zac is still in the early days of remission and has five years of follow up appointments to come, we have everything crossed that he stays healthy.’
“It’s left him with painful joints and he is tired, but it has not killed off his cheeky personality or stubbornness to see things through.”
Brave Zac said: “Having chemo is boring and makes you feel rubbish. I had 37 doses of IV chemo during my treatment.
“The longest took 24 hours and I had to have 5 doses in succession. It took 120 hours. The shortest took 15 minutes.”
Now in remission, Zac decided he wanted help other local children with cancer and hatched a plan to raise funds for Oxford Hospitals Charity.
He particulary wanted to support children on Kamran’s Ward in Oxford Children’s Hospital, which looks after young cancer patients like him.
He has managed to raise more than £6,000 so far, with donations still open.
Nicole Silvester, from Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s been fantastic working with Zac and his family and finding out more about this determined little chap.
“How wonderful that in the midst of such a difficult time he was thinking of how he could help other children.
“Superstars like Zac make such a difference to all our hospitals, helping Oxford Hospitals Charity to make the wards and departments more welcoming for patients of all ages, and funding high tech medical equipment.
“We are always so grateful to our amazing inspirational fundraisers, like young Zac.”