When he was 14, Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Doctors told Sobiech that he would have only a year left to live.
To cope with his disease, the Minnesota teenager released “Clouds” in December 2012, a song that became a viral hit on YouTube and inspired a celebrity-filled tribute video.
In the song, Zach Sobech sings: “And we’ll go up, up, up/ But I’ll fly a little higher/ We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer/ Up here my dear / It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now.” Sobiech died early Monday morning at the age of 18, The Today Show reports.
Sobiech was affiliated with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, which set up the Zach Sobiesch Osteosarcoma Fund in Sobiech’s honor.
“With heavy hearts, we are saddened to share that Zach Sobiech passed away this morning,’’ the Children’s Cancer Research Fund said in a statement. “Zach was at home and at peace with those he loved most. Zach’s life ended just as he lived, embraced by the love of his family, friends, grace and music.”
Sobiech’s performance of “Clouds” has amassed nearly three million views since its release in December. Last week, Soul Pancake, a media company owned by “The Office’s” Rainn Wilson, posted a tribute video with celebrities such as Sarah Silverman, Jason Mraz, and Bryan Cranston lip-syncing over Sobiech’s song.
The video begins with Cranston saying “Zach, it’s such a beautiful song. This is for you.”
In “My Last Days,” a documentary chronicling Sobiech’s struggles with his disease, Sobiech laid out the reasons behind his positive outlook. “It’s really simple, actually,’’ Sobiech said. “It’s just, try and make people happy. Maybe you have to learn it over time, maybe you have to learn it the hard way, but as long as you learn it, you’re going to make the world a better place.”
“I want everyone to know you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”