Local Current Blog

With only months to live, Lakeland teenager Zach Sobiech turns to music

Credit: via CaringBridge.org


In August of 2009, Lakeland, Minn. teenager Zach Sobiech went for a run and came home with a pain in his left hip. A physical therapist initially told him it might be a problem with his hip flexor, but when the pain didn’t let up Zach went in for more tests. Within a few months, Zach’s family was grappling with a new reality: Their 14-year-old boy had cancer.

Sobiech, now 17, has undergone several rounds of surgery, chemo, and radiation in attempt to stave off his osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Earlier this year, a scan revealed that the cancer had returned to his hip and also spread into his lungs. Doctors have stopped chemo and placed him on a new medication that may slow the growth of his tumors, and his prognosis has turned grim.

“Zach has been told that he likely has only months to live,” his Caring Bridge site explains. “His response is to embrace every day with hope and joy. Some days are harder than others, but he remains the upbeat and positive soul he has always been.”

With an uncertain and harrowing future ahead, Sobiech has found a way to channel that hope and joy into a new song, “Clouds.” The song eventually made its way into the hands of KS95 general manager Dan Seeman, who helped to put Zach and his family in touch with a voice coach, studio engineer, and crew of musicians who could help give the song the support it deserves. The end result is a touching video that finds Sobiech saying farewell to his family and friends through his music.

Children’s Cancer has set up a Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to raise money for research into his particular form of cancer; gifts of $20 or more will receive a copy of Zach’s album, which includes “Clouds” and a few other original tunes.

Update: Zach Sobiech passed away on May 21, 2013. Read the full story on his life and incredible music career here.