Zach was born with severe physical deformity and extensive damage to his right hand and forearm. Though he was born right hand dominant, he had to train himself in the use of his left hand. Performing even the simplest tasks like buttoning or tying his shoes poses great challenge. In addition, Zach has received ongoing treatment for a rare cancer-like disease called Castleman's disease. Despite having to be home-schooled for long periods of time, Zach excelled in his studies and was largely self-taught in many advanced subjects. He has even been recognized for his excellent French Horn playing. With the support of the Beat the Odds scholarship, Zach attends Texas A&M University.