[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 50°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 41°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Local child serves as inspiration for ride

Friday, May 27, 2011

For the second year in a row, Zach's Ride will take place. The family responsible for conducting the event includes (front, from left) Zach Ellis, Caleb Ellis, (back) Danny and Laura Thompson. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
A lot has changed for Zach Ellis in the span of one year.

The 14-year-old now attends school at North Clay Middle School.

Just two years ago, Zach was a big fan of Michael Jackson. Now, however, he's into AC/DC, Metallica and Poison. He loves vinyl records and recently picked up the clarinet and performs in the middle school band.

"It's similar to the recorder," Zach said. "I thought about playing the flute."

He also still likes to play video games with his twin brother, Caleb.

Zach still lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease where the body's immune response attacks a person's central nervous system.

Zach was diagnosed with MS at age 8. He is believed to be the youngest person in the Wabash Valley to have been diagnosed with the disease.

"It was hard for (doctors) to diagnosis him because of his age," Zach's mother, Laura Thompson, said.

Although he hasn't had any extended stays in the hospital since 2009, he deals with MS daily.

But his mother, Laura Thompson, said he's handling it better as he gets older.

"He just does better all the time," she said. "From time to time, he will have (burning sensations), but he takes (medications) for this.

"He just ignores it."

For the second year in a row, the family has chosen to conduct "Zach's Ride," a poker run, motorcycle ride and hog roast, as a way of raising money for MS. The family will donate all money raised during the local event for the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, which will take place at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in September. The Indiana Chapter of the National MS Society sponsors the walk.

"Zach's Ride," will take place Saturday, June 11. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., at the Gooseneck Brew, 561 E. National Ave., Brazil.

Cost is a $10 donation per participant.

The ride is scheduled to begin at noon. All participants are scheduled back by 4:30 p.m.

From there, comedian Mike Tucker will perform at the bar as will the band Funk 59.

Thompson's husband, Danny, said the ride would go from Brazil to Seelyville. From there, the route will head to Sandcut before coming to Rockville and then back to Brazil.

The hog roast dinner comes courtesy of Tony Spugnardi. In addition, the family said several items would be raffled off throughout the evening, including an overnight stay at Casino Aztar and a Harley Davidson jacket, among other items.

There will be a $200 grand prize for the winning poker hand and event T-shirts at a cost of $14.

"You don't have to have a bike to be a part of it," Laura said. "A lot of people come in to eat and enjoy the day."

Last year, the family said they raised just more than $2,000, and the goal this year is to raise more.

"Every year, we're going to get a little bigger," Laura said. "We have a good time with it and planning it.

"(MS is) a big deal. It's a big deal to get this out and get people more aware."

For more information on T-shirts or the event, call Laura at 812-201-7620.

For more information on the walk in September or to pre-register, log on to http://walkini.nationalmssociety.org.

Zach's Ride

What: Motorcycle Ride, Poker Run and Hog Roast, Saturday, June 11

Where: Gooseneck Brew, 561 E. National Ave., Brazil.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The first bikes will head out at noon. All bikes are scheduled back by 4:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 per person

For more information, call Laura Thompson at 812-201-7620.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: