Nova Scotia

N.S. boy with rare cancer heading to Disney World

A young Nova Scotian boy with an aggressive form of cancer is heading to Disney World, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Canada.

Three-year-old Zac Connolly is in remission

Zac Connolly, now in remission for a rare type of cancer, naps in the IWK Health Centre's oncology unit. (CBC)

A young Nova Scotian boy with an aggressive form of cancer is heading to Disney World, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Canada.

Three-year-old Zac Connolly was diagnosed in May 2011 with a neuroblastoma — a rare type of cancer that develops from nerve tissue. It affects one in about 100,000 infants and children.

The cancer has been in remission since the fall.

"Well it's easy because he's doing good. I think that's the biggest key, right. It's a roller coaster ride obviously, there are ups and downs," says Angela Connolly, Zac's mother.

"You have to stay positive though, you can't look at this and think negatively otherwise you're going to put yourself in a depression, you'll never get through it."

There is now some groundbreaking neuroblastoma treatment being used to treat Zac.

Mouse proteins attach themselves to the neuroblastoma cells and it's supposed to help Zac's own immune system fight the cancer.

"It's a rough treatment but it's the best thing to hit neuroblastoma in 50 years, so we're really hopeful that it'll keep him in remission," she said.

Disney-bound

While the IWK takes care of his treatment, the Make-a-Wish Foundation is working on sending him to Disney World.

"He can't wait. He keeps telling us, 'When I'm four I'm going to go see Mickey House. He calls Mickey Mouse, Mickey House," Angela Connolly says with a laugh.

Today at Glen Arbour Golf Course, more than 20 golfers attempted to play 100 holes in one day to raise money for Zac's trip.

Zac's grandmother caddied for his uncle Mike.

"We're totally amazed by what they've done here and of course we're supporting it in any way we can. It's amazing," Nettie Connolly said.

"Oh it feels great," said Mike Connolly. "Anything that we can do to give back to help Zac and any other child in this predicament is obviously going to be helpful and it makes us feel good to give back to the association the way they're helping him."

Each of these golfers had to raise $1,500 dollars in order to join today's tournament.

Make-a-Wish organizers hope to raise $10,000, which would be enough to send Zac to Disney world this fall.    

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