By: Boyd Huppert, KARE
“As his body weakened from a muscle disease (ALS), Ethan Och knew the time had come.
He told his music teacher he’d have to give up his favorite school activity.
“I was lagging behind,” says Ethan. “And they were going ahead and there was no way for me to catch up with them.”
His teacher, Gina Christopherson, remembers the day Ethan broke the news.
“He said I really hate to do this, but I have to quit band.”
If Ethan expected to ride his wheelchair into the band sunset, he picked the wrong director.
“I don’t believe in ‘I can’t,'” says Mrs. Christopherson.
Today Ethan is back in the percussion section, drumming on an iPad hooked to an amplifier.
Mrs. Christopherson got the idea from Ethan himself, the day she saw him playing with a drum app on his smartphone.
“My first day digging through iTunes I downloaded 75 different apps,” Mrs. Christopherson says.
Watch the video above to find out how Ethan was able to march along with the band in a parade.
He’s learned since not to doubt his music teacher. “In her mind anything’s possible,” he says.
“He’s part of the team, you don’t leave somebody behind,” Mrs. Christopherson says.”