This Inspiring 18-Year-Old Left Us A Year Ago, But His Spirit — And Music — Is Still Spreading Joy

Zach Sobiech passed away at the age of 18 on May 20, 2013 — but not before leaving a legacy of hope, love and music that should inspire the rest of us, as we pass though our much longer lives. And just last week, more than a year after his death from a rare form of juvenile bone cancer, Zach received one more honor.

His catchy and uplifting YouTube hit “Clouds” was performed live at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on May 28, as part of the center’s YouTube Onstage Live From the Kennedy Center, special presentation.

Zach Sobiech was diagnosed at age 14 with osteocarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer for which there is no known cure. But rather than bemoan his fate, Zach seized the moment, and in the short time he had left he turned himself into an an international pop star.

His catchy, poignant and inspiring tune “Clouds” became a YouTube video with more than 10 million views. The Minnesota teen released the song on iTunes, and it became the first independent single to hit Number One on the iTunes download charts.

If you’ve never heard “Clouds,” take a few minutes to watch Zach’s video. It will bring a smile to your face and probably a tear to your eye.

Shortly before Zach’s death, a group of celebrities paid tribute to him, creating their own, lip-synced video version of “Clouds,” a song about how it feels to face death.

The celebrity video was posted on the Soul Pancake YouTube channel run by actor and comedian Rainn Wilson. It features Wilson, Bryan Cranston, Anna Faris, Jason Mraz, Ashley Tisdale and many other celebs who were inspired by the spirit of Zach Sobiek.

After you watch the original “Clouds,” check out the celebrity version.

In addition to the Kennedy Center honor, Zach’s mom appeared Tuesday on the Katie Couric talk show Katie, to discuss his memory and legacy.

Finally, Soul Pancake has created a new, 23-minute documentary about the Sobiech family and how they’re helping to keep Zach alive in their — and everyone’s — hearts a year after his passing. Take the time to watch the film. We think you’ll find it a true inspiration.

Proceeds from all of the Zach’s music go to the Zach Sobiech Osteocarcoma Fund.