Zach Sobiech, a cancer-stricken teenager whose YouTube-released son, “Clouds,” became a viral sensation, has died at the age of 18.
The Children’s Cancer Research Fund announced that Zach had died of his disease on May 20, 2013. Sobiech, who had been using music as a way to deal with his diagnosis of osteosarcoma at the age of 14, quickly grew to fame on the Internet after he released “Clouds,” a song about facing death.
Catchy and beautiful, the song soon gained notice on multiple media outlets. Rainn Wilson‘s Soul Pancake YouTube channel brought more attention to the teen’s bittersweet song by posting a celebrity-filled response. Stars from Bryan Cranston to Sarah Bareilles to Chris Pratt to Ashley Tisdale participated in the video, with money raised going to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
Soul Pancake followed up this video response with a short documentary, “My Last Days,” about Sobiech.
To date, “Clouds” has over 3 million views on YouTube. Sobiech and his band, A Firm Handshake, released a second album, “Fix Me Up,” in February 2013.
Sobiech knew he was facing an early death before “Clouds” introduced him to the world. After several years of treatment, doctors informed the young man that there was nothing else to do medically.