Zach Sobiech dies as his music and story gain international recognition
An American teen with cancer who dedicated his short life to music and charity died this week but the impact of his work is still blooming across the Internet as millions share his moving story.
Zach Sobiech was only 14 years old when doctors diagnosed him with a rare form of bone cancer known as Osteosarcoma, according to the Children's Cancer Research Fund. After years of treatment, the cancer spread and his doctors gave him only a little while longer to live.
So he wrote a song. And then another. Sobiech released two albums in what became his very public struggle with terminal illness. His single, Clouds, was fifth on the iTunes Charts on Wednesday and the video had more than four million views on YouTube.
The teen from Stillwater, Minn., died on May 20, at the age of 18.
The family requested donations to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which was created to fund research into this rare form of cancer.
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The group Soul Pancake documented Sobiech's life story in a video, including a celebrity tribute.
Social media users posted about how the story had touched and saddened them.
“@jaanellemonae: Zach sobiech's video made me cry, it really makes you value your life more.”
— TrapGod (@AmillieTheGreat) May 22, 2013
One of the most inspirational videos I've ever seen. Thanks, Zach. #muchlove My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech youtu.be/9NjKgV65fpo — Sydney Skubic (@SassySyd17) May 22, 2013
If you haven't checked out Zach Sobiech's story yet, do so now. Words cannot express his strength and courage. RIP. upworthy.com/this-kid-just-…
— Kyle Scislowicz (@KSizz4) May 22, 2013
Media outlets from Hollywood Life to Autoblog declared Zach a hero, even as they reported that he had "lost" his fight with cancer.
"I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting and didn't really lose," Sobiech says in Soul Pancake's short documentary, My Last Days.
He didn't lose.
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