He Died too Young: In Memory of Zach Sobiech


Music speaks to us. Music lifts us. It heals us. It can also keep us strong at times when we need it most. Whatever you’re going through, you can feel emotions through music. Songwriters themselves write songs to deal with pain, heartache, abuse, etc. Many artists are well known for overcoming these battles through their music. You might even be a songwriter yourself.

Zach Sobiech was an 18 year old musician who died of a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma on May 20, 2013. With only months to live, Zach turned to music to say goodbye.  Zach had written a song called “Clouds” about coming to terms with his imminent death. Upworthy readers helped raise $450,000 for the Children’s Cancer Fund.  On December 6, 2012, during Ryan & Shannon’s KS95 for Kids Radiothon, KS95 debuted a song by Zach Sobiech, a teen with cancer, called “Clouds.” Zach and the song became a worldwide sensation, touching the hearts of millions.  “Clouds” became the first song by an independent artist to reach the top of the iTunes music charts.  When he turned 18 (shortly before his passing) this video was made by Soulpancake in which celebrities and others send messages and sing his song which is both beautiful and inspiring.

“You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.” – Zach Sobiech

“It just really speaks to children, and that’s a blessing because Zach died of children’s cancer,” his mother said. “What it boils down to was that Zach was a kid in a hopeless situation who brought hope to people.”

He passed away on May 20, 2013. One year after his song debuted on KS95,  5,000 family members, friends, & fans gathered at Mall Of America for KS95′s Ryan & Shannon’s Largest Clouds Choir to remember Zach, who passed away in May of 2013.  While the choir sang, a video played where he sang his goodbyes while dying of osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that strikes kids.  KS95 (94.5 FM) sponsored the “World’s Largest ‘Clouds’ Choir” as part of its radiothon benefiting Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Gillette Specialty Children’s Care. Everyone sang together near two towering tinsel Christmas trees as streamers cascaded down upon them. The couple in the middle are his wonderful and supportive and brave parents. This is a beautiful song and another example of how music can keep the memory of Zach alive.

SOURCES: Upworthy, Soulpancake

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Melissa Wilke

Editor-in-chief | After two years in PR, I now work as an Account Manager in an advertising agency in the beautiful city of Duesseldorf. I’ve been blogging for 7 years on several websites and started working as a freelance writer for music magazines in 2013. I believe in the social value of music and its power to change the world for the better. My favourite bands/artists are Green Day, Enter Shikari, Linkin Park, Marmozets, SWMRS, Lana del Rey, Paramore, Foo Fighters, Nirvana and too many more to list them all.

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