ZAKK’S DREAM: Poorly Derbyshire lad’s New York holiday wish

Zakk Dluzewski in hospital.
Zakk Dluzewski in hospital.

This is Zakk Dluzewski - he’s 15-years-old and he’s had a really tough time of it recently.

Having lost his dad to cancer at the age of 37 two years ago, he found out in August that he is now battling the disease himself.

Zakk and his older brother Dominic at the football.

Zakk and his older brother Dominic at the football.

Twenty years ago, Zakk’s dad Gaz was the bass-player in popular Derbyshire indie-rockers the Chosen Rejects.

And now Gaz’s former band-mates want to do all they can to try to give his son the holiday of a lifetime - to New York.

Emma Goss is the wife of the band’s former drummer, Craig.

She said: “I called Zakk’s mum on the anniversary of Gaz’s death just to ask how she was and tell her I was thinking of her.

Campaign organiser Emma Goss.

Campaign organiser Emma Goss.

“And she told me the news that Zakk had just been diagnosed as well - I just thought you couldn’t make it up.

“She has been one of my best friends for 20 years - our little boys are best friends as well.

“It has been a really difficult time so we just want to give the family something to cheer them up.

“We’d like to raise enough money to send them all out there if we could.”

Zakk on holiday with mum Karen, dad Gaz and Emma's family.

Zakk on holiday with mum Karen, dad Gaz and Emma's family.

Emma says that pub landlord Gaz was the ‘happiest and jolliest’ person you could ever have met.

“He was one of the original members of the band - we all went to school together and have stayed really close.

“After he died they moved back up to Tibshelf and tried to rebuild their lives and then this drops on them.”

Emma says Zakk is now going through ‘really intense’ chemotherapy and will need radiotherapy after that.

The Chosen Rejects at the height of their powers.

The Chosen Rejects at the height of their powers.

“He is in hospital at the moment and has quite a lot of ups and downs,” she says.

“But like a lot of kids he is really resilient and just wants to get on with it.”

The fund set up by Emma has already raised over a thousand pounds of its initial £2,000 target which they hope to use to fund a trip to New York to the set of Zakk’s favourite show, Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen.

They’re even trying to get in touch with the famously foul-mouthed chef to see if he can meet with Zakk when he goes.

“Going to New York was something Gaz always wanted to do but never did and he was also really passionate about being chef in his pub’s kitchen so it might have something to do with that.”

“Whatever it is, we just want to do everything we can to help.”

To donate to Zakk’s appeal visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ourzakk.