Letter to the Editor: Wheelchair Won't Stop O'Fallon Boy From Racing in Triathlon

Zach Blakemore suffers from a rare neurological disease that confines him to an electric wheelchair. His grandparents are teaming up to help him race in a triathlon on Saturday.

Editor's Note: Letters to the Editor are welcomed by Patch. The opinions expressed in letters are only that of the letter writer and do not represent Patch. The letters solely represent the views of the author and have not been edited other than to check for spelling errors.

Full Disclosure: O'Fallon Patch Editor Jordan Lanham serves on the Unlimited Play Young Professionals Board. Unlimited Play is a local non-profit headed by Natalie Blakemore to help create playgrounds where children of .

Letter to the Editor:

Zachary Blakemore's grandmother, Joan Mackay, is a typical grandmother in every way except for one.

Tomorrow at 7 in the morning, she will tether a raft to herself and swim almost one-mile pulling Zach. Zach suffers from a rare neurological disease that confines him to an electric wheelchair.

Zachary has watched as his mother and grandfather have raced triathlon's for years and every year he asks, "When can I race?"

Zach's grandfather, Brian Mackay, decided this would be the year. Brian decided to form a team that would be Zach's legs, allowing Zach to accomplish his dream of racing.

Brian knew he could pull zach in a specialized bike trailer for the 26 mile bike. Zachary's mother, , wiould push the jogging stroller for the six mile run, but the question was who could they find to swim?

Natalie Blakemore said, "I remember standing in the garage with my dad discussing who could handle the swim. As we discussed different ideas we realized the strongest swimmer we know is my mother.

Every year she swims with us as we train, but every year she refuses to race. The thought of mom racing with Zach made me smile, but never once did I consider she would actually say yes.

Zach, with his grandparents and mother, have trained hard throughout the summer and can't wait for tomorrow!

Come watch! Saturday, Aug., 25 at the Lake St. Louis Club House, 100 Cognac Ct., Lake St. Louis.

Start time is 7 a.m. For more information please contact: Natalie Blakemore 636-544-4391 or natalie@unlimitedplay.org.

-Submitted by Natalie Blakemore

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Jordan Lanham August 24, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Good luck and have lots of fun tomorrow! Wish I could be there to cheer you all on!


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