You may not know the name Zach Sobiech, but you absolutely should. This week, we lost Zach to a rare form of bone cancer, but not before he was able to inspire millions with his story and music.
In 2009, at age 14, Zach was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a disease with no viable treatment. Several operations and bouts of chemotherapy followed, but last year, doctors told him that the cancer had spread and that he only had a few months to live. Zach funneled the frustration and fear of that diagnosis into “Clouds,” a goodbye ode that has accumulated millions of YouTube views and a surge of support towards his story via CNN, Billboard, and a host of other media outlets.
I’ve worked with Zach’s record label, Rock the Cause, for the last two years and followed Zach’s story every step along the way — as local press turned to national press and national press turned to a record album charting on the Billboard Heatseekers and Folk Charts. The most astounding part about Zach was that while each piece was about him, it was never actually about him. Zach never let the dire complexity of his situation derail him and continued doing what he loved to raise funds to support others diagnosed with his disease.
Last week, as Zach was nearing the end of his time with us, a host of celebrities contributed to a cover version of “Clouds,” a fitting goodbye to a young man trying to find the best way to express that very sentiment. So, minimize the e-mail you’re writing, the text you just received, or whatever other ancillary task is currently holding your attention, and check out the video below. Zach may be gone, but he will not be forgotten.