Hundreds register for stem cell donation in aid of Nottingham student

Hundreds of people have signed up to donate stem cells in aid of a Nottingham student fighting two rare forms of cancer.

Zac Forskitt, 20, was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour and after further testing was told he also has an aggressive form of Leukaemia.

He is believed to be only the second person worldwide to be diagnosed with forms of the disease at the same time.

Now friends, family and even strangers have rallied round an appeal inspired by the Nottingham Trent University student after his story spread online.

Charity Antony Nolan, which supports people with blood cancer, held an event at the university’s Clifton campus to encourage people to sign up for stem cell donations.

Hundreds of people turned out to register after the event spread on social media.

Antony Nolan matches people willing to donate their bone marrow, or stem cells to patients in desperate need of a transplant.

Tom Patrick, Zac’s flatmate, said ” It would be incredible if he got a match and everything would be back to normal next year, back at university, living his life like he should be”.

Zac is due to start his second lot of chemotherapy for the Leukaemia since first being diagnosed in September.

His dad, Jason, shaved the hair off Zac’s head as his hair has started to fall out, but despite this Zac continues to smile.

zac back


A just giving page and website was set up by Zac’s friends with the aim of raising £300 to help make Zac’s stay at Nottingham City Hospital more comfortable.

The page has had a great response with £5,038 being donated so far.

Since being diagnosed, Zac’s friends and family have also raised more than £6,000 for Macmillan.

Zac's friends register to be stem cell donors

Picture: Zac’s friends register to be stem cell donors

Thursday’s registration event was open for people aged 16 to 30, and involved volunteers filling in an application from and then spitting into a tube.

It’s the difference between life and death

Family friend Glenda Herbert, who’s son received stem cell treatment after being diagnosed with the same cancer as Zac, said: “Stem cell treatment is so brilliant it can treat so many diseases, especially blood cancer. Donating is so simple to do but for people like Zac it’s the difference between life and death.”

People who were unable to attend but would like like to register to be a stem cell donor can sign up online and be sent a saliva kit in the post.

Video: Sarah Roulstone, Regional Register Development Manager at Anthony Nolan explains stem cell donation


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