“THERE are a lot of children out there with serious issues and disabilities, and I don’t want them to feel sad - I want them to keep going, to stay strong and to accomplish their dreams.”

These are the words of a brave 11-year-old boy from Street in Somerset, who has been honoured in a new digital Disney storybook collection.

Zac Du Boulay, who was born with Moebius Syndrome and was told he would never speak, won first prize in an ‘Inspire Like Churchill’ speech competition, run by The International Churchill Society.

He won $5000 and decided to donate all his winnings to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH).

Now Zac, who strives to make a difference to other people’s lives and continue to raise money for charity, has been honoured by Disney.

Disney has launched Tales of Courage and Kindness - a digital storybook collection aimed at inspiring children to create a kinder world.

And 14 young people from around the world have been honoured in the books, with just five of those from the UK.

Zac was born with facial and oral paralysis which left him unable to breathe, eat, speak or smile.

He was only able to physically form four out of the 20 sounds necessary for speech.

“Zac spent his first five months fighting for his life in intensive care,” said his mum, Annabel Du Boulay.

“We were then trained by intensive care nurses to care for him at home, where we were resuscitating him several times a day under emergency conditions, so life as a family was very stressful and restrictive.

“However, Zac is a fighter. He defied all the odds, firstly, by surviving.

“Then on Christmas Day, when he was three years old, he said his first word ‘Mama’.

“It was the first sound he had ever made other than crying and laughing.

“From that moment on, he was on a mission to teach himself to speak.

“Then, once his airway had stabilised somewhat, he was determined not only to speak, but to teach himself how to eat orally.

“So we had another couple of stressful years, finding him raiding the fridge and choking on food, until he worked out a way in which to eat despite the nerve palsy to his face, mouth and throat.

“Similar to his incessant talking, he now never stops eating either.”

Annabel explained Zac loves using his own experiences to support other children and help them to overcome challenges like he has.

And this is why Zac has been honoured in Disney’s digital Pocahontas story.

Annabel believes this Disney Princess is perfect for Zac, who embodies the same traits as Pocahontas - free-spirited, determined and caring.

Somerset County Gazette: POCAHONTAS: Illustrations from the storybook Zac is honoured in

“I put so much time and effort into trying to speak, and I did the impossible, I proved the doctors wrong,” said Zac.

“I didn’t worry about people bullying me, I kept strong in my heart.

“I’ve always been determined, kept strong and tried not to worry about anything. ‘Hakuna-matata’, as they say in Disney’s The Lion King.”

Zac chose to support GOSH to help other children who are seriously ill.

“I didn’t want their parents to be sad or lonely, so I wanted to help give them a second chance,” he said.

“GOSH helped to put a smile on my face, and I feel like I owe them, I want to give something back to them, to show them my respect.

"I feel amazing, excited, happy and proud to be honoured by Disney. It has inspired me to keep on doing what I’m doing, giving more speeches and hopefully inspiring more people.

"Thank you to Disney for making my year so excellent!”

To read the digital storybooks, visit disneyprincessstories.co.uk.

Zac also has a JustGiving page where you can see his winning speech and donate to GOSH. Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/zac-du-boulay.

Somerset County Gazette: POCAHONTAS: Illustrations from the storybook Zac is honoured in