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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Third Zach's Ride taking place in June

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The third Zach's Ride, in honor of Zach Ellis (above), will take place Saturday, June 9. Plans are to start the event at the Gooseneck Brew, 561 E. National Ave., Brazil.
The community of Clay County has gotten to know Zach Ellis, 15, quite a bit in the past few years.

And on Saturday, June 9, they'll have a chance to see him again.

That's when the third Zach's Ride, a motorcycle ride and hog roast, will take place.

Zach's family established the event three years ago as a way to raise money for fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease where the body's immune response attacks a person's central nervous system.

His family will donate all the money raised during Zach's Ride for the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, which takes place at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in September. The Indiana Chapter of the National MS Society sponsors the annual walk.

Registration for Zach's Ride will begin at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 9, at the Gooseneck Brew, 561 E. National Ave., Brazil.

Cost is $10 per person.

The ride is scheduled to begin at noon. All participants are expected back around 4 p.m. Stops along the way include visits in Seelyville, Sandcut, Rockville and more.

"Spugs" Barbecue will sponsor the hog roast dinner, set to begin at 4:30 p.m., at the Gooseneck.

Bands Carter, Laser Face and Therapy will provide entertainment. Entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Several items will again be raffled throughout the evening and "Zach's Ride" T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

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

But if one sat down and talked with Zach, they wouldn't realize there was anything wrong with the soon-to-be North Clay Middle School eighth-grader.

"It doesn't bother me," Zach said. "It does sometimes, but not much."

Zach has been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, a subtype of MS characterized by relapses at any time followed by a period of remission.

However, in the past year alone, Zach has suffered a few relapses.

His mother, Laura Thompson, said he had a "flare up," in November, which resulted in lesions on the frontal lobe of his brain, which will leave permanent marks on his brain.

In addition, she added his temperature may "fluctuate like crazy," spiking to more than 105-degrees in November.

As a result, Zach only went to school for a half day during the second semester while in seventh-grade.

"He had a few falls in November," Laura added. "And he had a temperature flare up recently. We just hope it doesn't leave any cognitive or physical damage."

In between visits to the neurologist and MS specialist though, Zach is a typical teenager. He still enjoys playing video games with his twin brother, Caleb, and they ride their bikes from where the family lives into Brazil. In addition, Zach plays the clarinet and bass guitar and has received lessons from family friends.

"Everybody gives time," Laura said.

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

Zach's Ride

What: Motorcycle Ride, hog roast and more, Saturday, June 9

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 to be back by 4 p.m.

Cost: $10 per person

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

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