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Let's back Zac: Poorly Shropshire youngster has gritter named after him - with pictures

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Health | Published:

His name has spread all over the county as people pull out all the stops to raise money for vital treatment in America and now Zac Oliver's name will literally be spreading all over Shropshire - after a gritter was named after the youngster.

Zac's name is the first to be placed on one of Shropshire Council's gritters after it was suggested by his mum, Hannah, and several others when Shropshire Council launched a competition to name the vehicles last week.

The Broseley youngster has an extremely rare form of childhood leukaemia, called Near Haploid, and needs to travel to the US for treatment unavailable on the NHS.

His family need to raise £500,000 to get to Philadelphia for the CAR-T therapy. The cause has captured the hearts of the county and so far the people of Shropshire have helped to raise more than £300,000.

It comes as Telford Town Park hosts Zacfest this Sunday in a bid to boost te fund further.

Promotional poster for Zacfest

Zac and Hannah visited Shropshire Council's highways depot at Longden Road, Shrewsbury, so he could see and sit in the gritter that bears his name.

The vehicle is responsible for gritting the roads in Broseley in the winter, and is driven by Adam Painting, who also lives in the town.

Hannah said: “Zac is really excited to have his name on a gritter. This will be a great reminder of how the local community came together to save my little boy’s life. A gritter and the community are both similar, in effect doing the same role. They both come out in times of need and are saving lives by doing their bit.”

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Adam Painting with Zac

Steve Ash, senior delivery manager with Kier, said: “We’re delighted that one of our gritters will now be named Zac Oliver. We’ve all been touched by Zac’s story and when a number of people, including his mum Hannah, suggested his name in response to our ‘name the gritter’ competition we were very happy to oblige. It’s especially apt as Zac’s uncle Ian works at our highways depot in Shrewsbury.”

More than 500 names have been suggested so far in the ‘name the gritter’ competition and the best and most popular will be shortlisted after the October 18 deadline before a public vote is held to choose names for the remaining 24 vehicles.

How you can help:

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Anyone who wants to support the fundraising campaign should visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/zac-oliver

People can also join Zac's Facebook support page which is called 'Zachariah's's fight against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia'.

People can also donate using their mobile phone by texting ZACH75 £1 to 70070.

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