Zach Sobiech Dies From Osteosarcoma: YouTube Star And Children's Cancer Fund Advocate Dead At 18; 'Clouds' Hits Number One On iTunes [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on May 23, 2013 1:28 PM EDT

Zach Sobiech
Zach Sobiech plays "Clouds." Sobiech died from Osteosarcoma on May 20, 2013. (Photo: YouTube)

YouTube sensation Zach Sobiech dies after a short battle against cancer. Diagnosed with terminal osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, at 17 years old, Zach vowed to live his life and to love his friends and family to the fullest. With only months to live, Zach Sobiech wrote music to express his feelings and to leave a part of himself with his family before he is gone.

Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer. The cancer affects cells that make the bone. Cancerous bones are not as strong as normal bones.

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Osteosarcoma typically starts near the long bones in the legs. For Zach Sobiech, a run with his sister Grace caused him to notice a sharp pain coming from his left hip. An MRI later revealed aggressive cancer growth. According to cancer.org, most osteosarcomas in children and teens are high grade; 60 to 80 percent of patients who are stricken have a five-year-survival rate.

Like any teenager, Zach Sobiech had plans to graduate high school, start college and continue enjoying the surprises that lie ahead in life. However, the shocking news required Zach and his family to begin a very important mission to live every day like it's the last.

Enjoying songwriting as a hobby, Zach Sobiech wrote "Clouds" to express his feelings as he endured the reality of his cancer.

Uploaded on YouTube in December, 2012, "Clouds" has amassed 4.7 million views.

The attention the song attracted eventually sparked a need for a documentary so that fans could get to know Zach Sobiech a little better.

The short film, titled "My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech," was finally uploaded on May 3 and Zach spoke to the camera to tell how he would like to be remembered:

"I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn't really lose."

Zach Sobiech's remarkable story has nothing to do with his battle with cancer. The inspiration lies in Sobiech's fearless acceptance of reality and his determination to continue loving and living despite the illness.

A heartwarming story, Zach Sobiech found joy in helping people and making other people smile.

One by one, Zach described his relationship with his mom, dad, his younger sisters Grace and Allie, his older brother Sam, and his wonderful girlfriend Amy.

"My closure is to get my feelings into these songs so they (my family, friends) can have something to remember me by or lean on when I'm gone," said Zach.

Beyond his nuclear family, Zach was a Children's Cancer Research Fund advocate as well.

Unfortunately, Zach Sobiech passed away on May 20, just 17 days after his 18th birthday. To remember Zach and to support his cause, download his song "Clouds" on iTunes. Proceeds from the purchase will benefit the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund of the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

You can also listen to "Clouds" in the YouTube video below. Also, be sure to watch the short film "My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech."

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