Brave Zac and Luton's Keech Hospice Care stars of BBC Children In Need Rocks
A brave six-year-old who battled a brain tumour has become a star of BBC Children in Need Rocks after he was filmed for the show at Luton's Keech Hospice Care.
Zac Eckworth, of Hertfordshire, was watched by families across the UK on November 15, after a TV crew paid a special visit to the Great Bramingham Lane hospice to meet him.
Zac, who is now in remission, described how music therapy at Keech Hospice Care helped him come to terms with the condition.
Zac’s mum, Miriam, said: “When Zac was at his lowest point he wouldn’t go to school, he was just so overwhelmed by everything.
“But just when we really needed help, Keech’s music therapist Nathan was there.”
Zac was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just a year old, but despite going through gruelling chemotherapy, it came back bigger only two years later.
Although doctors removed as much as they could during surgery, Zac’s eyesight was permanently affected, leaving him with limited vision.
He said: “When I am playing a musical instrument it really takes my mind off all the horrid things I have to think about and I can think about all of the good and relaxing things. It makes me feel free.”
Nathan Vanstone-Howe, said: “When we first played music together, Zac pretended to be a monster who wanted to steal all the instruments.
“As we spent more time together however, Zac began to talk about how the monster just wanted to be cared for and felt like Keech was a place of safety to protect him; he was scared of hospital admissions.
“Things became very emotional for Zac when the tumour returned. Many of the songs we created involved the ‘monster’, a model of which Zac made and brought to sessions. He spoke about how people feared the monster because he looked different but was actually friendly and nice
“It helped Zac to deal with his feelings about being different to his school-friends.”