Town gives cash boost for surgery for Zac, 7

Zac Knighton- Smith, to receive money for treatment from Kettering Loyalty Card scheme. 'Zac Knighton-Smith with mum Sam supporting the scheme l-r Kerry Tee-Boon (Boutique 66), Stuart Hopkins (Kettering Loyalty Card), Neil Griffin (Newlands), Elisa Salvatore (Toni and Guy) 'Wednesday 1st February 2012

Zac Knighton- Smith, to receive money for treatment from Kettering Loyalty Card scheme. 'Zac Knighton-Smith with mum Sam supporting the scheme l-r Kerry Tee-Boon (Boutique 66), Stuart Hopkins (Kettering Loyalty Card), Neil Griffin (Newlands), Elisa Salvatore (Toni and Guy) 'Wednesday 1st February 2012

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A little boy who has survived several bouts of cancer has received a major boost on his journey to good health thanks to businesses in Kettering.

A charity auction held by the founder of the town’s loyalty card has raised nearly £500 for a fund which will pay for seven-year-old Zac Knighton-Smith’s treatment.

The young boy will be flying out to Germany for the treatment which will eliminate any cancer cells and build up his immune system – at a cost of £30,000.

Stuart Hopkins, of My Loyalty Card, set up the secret auction with items including vouchers for town businesses, a meal for two at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London and a hot-air balloon flight with Virgin.

An anonymous bidder won the lot for £250 but sold the air balloon flight to a friend for £200 and also donated that to Zac’s fund.

As he lived in London he also gave back all the vouchers for the town businesses so the family can raffle them off for more cash.

Zac’s mother Sam Knighton said she was overwhelmed by the support from the community for her son.

She said: “It’s amazing how many people have heard about Zac and decided to dip their hand in their pockets to help out.

“Every little helps our fund get close to its target.”

Zac, who lives in Rushden, was first diagnosed with acute neuroblastoma in 2007 and has since been under many courses of chemotherapy.

After his last tumour was removed doctors advised he went for treatment at a surgery in Germany in a bid to improve his immune system and ensure the cancer has gone.

So far the family have paid the £9,000 deposit for the treatment but need a further £14,000 to pay for it.

They have just three weeks to raise the money.

Sam said: “We are desperately searching for money.

“We’re investigating all avenues and are still asking for help – Zac really needs this.”

Mr Hopkins said: “I’m delighted the way the auction has worked out and I hope the money will really help Zac.”

More than 100 businesses are part of the loyalty card scheme which offers discounts to shoppers.

The latest places to sign up are Kettering Swimming Pool and Red Rose.