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Terminally-ill Trezevant Man to Meet Favorite Poker Player

Dreamer Stories | In the News | January 30, 2019

Trezevant’s Zachary Butler is in Las Vegas meeting his favorite poker player at his home. Dream Foundation funded a special meet and greet with his favorite poker player.

Zachary Butler, 33, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia. He began experiencing symptoms from the rare disease at an early age and became completely disabled by his late teens. Doctors have now given him a six-month life expectancy and he is under hospice care.

His mother, Cynthia Mayberry said the announcement that he is going to meet his favorite poker player has given Zachary new life. He had been losing body mass, but his attitude and health have both improved after he learned he is going to meet Daniel Negreanu, a world-class poker player. He is also getting to visit with Negreanu in his Vegas home.

Meeting at his home on Highway 190, representatives of the Dream Foundation and Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology corporation presented Zachary with the package of information, $200 cash, and t-shirts for his trip. Elvis (Keith Burnett), Queen of Hearts (Liz Hobbs), Chuk Lamberth and Erin Funderburk were the representatives presenting the package of goodies. Before arriving at the home, they stopped at Little General convenience store in Trezevant and purchased fried chicken, one of Zach’s favorite foods.

Zach arrived in Vegas on Monday via Southwest Airlines, which provided complimentary passage. Traveling with Zach is his mother and care giver, Barbara Elgamal for the four-day, three-night event.

Throughout his life, Zachary has found enjoyment in the little things, including a game of cards. He spends much of his time playing online and in tournaments and dreams of meeting and playing cards with his favorite poker player, Daniel Negreanu. “He would give up his life to sit at a poker table with that man,” says Zachary’s mother, Cynthia. Zach is confined to a wheelchair and has many limitations in mobility, however, Cynthia said he can pull up to the poker table and play cards.

He was never expected to live past his 20s, said his mother. However, his heart palpitation have worsened in recent months.

Dream Foundation has also arranged accommodations for Zachary and his family while in Las Vegas.