Zak Brennan: Special Star Wars screening to help raise funds to take Belfast boy battling rare cancer to US for pioneering treatment
A special movie screening of the new Star Wars film has been organised to help raise funds to send a three-year-old Belfast boy to the US for pioneering cancer treatment.
Zak Brennan has Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and his parents are desperate to raise £134,000 for his specialised treatment.
The Strand Arts Centre in east Belfast will show a special screening of the new film organised by east Belfast MP Gavin Robinson.
It will take place on Tuesday December 20 at 7.30pm with a special drinks reception sponsored by the Park Avenue Hotel before the screening at 6.30pm.
Zak's family have already raised over £110,000 with help along the way from the Northern Ireland Football team, Carl Frampton and Alan Carr.
Little Zak has already endured cycles of chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplants and radiotherapy however to give him any chance of a permanent cure, Zak must travel to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan where he has been selected to take part in a radical new clinical trial.
In order to do this and to cover the huge cost Zak's parents Leeane and Gareth decided to set up the Zakky Brennan Fund in a bid to give their son the best fighting chance to beat his illness.
Dad Gareth said: "We as a family have been blown away by the enormous support we have been given from individuals, local business and sports stars.
“Not only has your financial help brought us closer to reaching our target, but knowing that we have so many people behind us has been a massive boost to our family and lifted our spirits on our toughest days.
“The care Zakky has received here in Belfast has been truly outstanding but for him to have any real chance of beating this aggressive disease, we need to get him to the states as quickly as possible.
"Zakky has had a truly awful year but he is such a fighter and never gives up so we, as his parents are determined to do everything we can to get him there. If we reach our target, we hope to travel to Michigan at the beginning of January with Zak commencing his treatment right away.”
Mr Robinson is calling on his constituents to come out and support this great cause.
“I like everyone else in Belfast, have been really moved by Zakky’s story and am confident that we can help the Brennan family reach their target before Christmas. Christmas is traditionally a time for giving, so I’m urging the people of east Belfast, who are known for their incredible generosity, to dig deep and give little Zakky the gift that he so desperately needs.
“Every penny raised from the movie night will go directly to the fund and I’d like to thank the Strand Arts Centre for hosting, the Park Avenue Hotel for sponsoring the drinks reception and Food Stories in Crawfordsburn for generously donating all of the refreshments.
I would strongly encourage as many people as possible to come along for a great evening of entertainment and to let the Brennan family know that the ‘force’ of the people of east Belfast is most definitely with them.”
Tickets for the movie night are priced at £12 for adults and £8 for children and can be purchased from the box office at the Strand Arts Centre