Zach Sobiech, the teen-age phenomenon who touched the world with his farewell song “Clouds,” died Monday morning, less than three weeks after he turned 18. The Minnesota musician was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2009 at age 14. Last May, when he turned 17, he was told that he had about a year left — inspiring him to create the popular song to leave behind a final message of love for his family.
Sobiech suffered from osteosarcoma, a particularly aggressive from of bone cancer. Despite enduring multiple treatments, including surgeries and biopsies, he knew that his odds weren’t good.
After his YouTube performance went viral, raising awareness of the deadly cancer he battled, a number of celebrities gathered to create their own performance of the song.
That heart-rending version of “Clouds” featured Ashley Tisdale, Colbie Caillat, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, Jenna Fischer, The Lumineers, Rachel Bilson, Ed Helms, Phillip Phillips, and several others.
According to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Sobiech’s family and girlfriend were there at the end when he passed away.
The money raised by his music — already more than $100,000 — goes to fund the fight against osteosarcoma so that its young victims will have a better chance of winning the fight in the future.
In case you missed it before, here’s the classic “Clouds” video by Zach Sobiech:
And here’s the celebrity performance of “Clouds” that was put together in Zach Sobiech’s honor:
If you want to honor his memory, you might consider a gift to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which funds research to battle the disease which struck down Zach Sobiech.