Zach Sobiech

Zach Sobiech died this past Monday, May 20. He was eighteen years old.

I didn’t know Zach. In fact, I never even knew about Zach … until today.

Zach Sobiech was just a fourteen-year-old kid with a great family and big dreams when he found out that he had cancer. A relatively rare form of cancer, as cancers go. Osteosarcoma. When he was seventeen, he was told he only had a few months to live.

I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.

(Tweet that)

If you haven’t already watched the video above, I invite you to watch it now. It is 22 minutes long, and worth every second of that investment of your time. Oh, and grab a Kleenex or two before you hit the play button. Actually, you might want to make it a box of Kleenexes.

OK, go watch it. Then come back here.

Kids like Zach – and Ashley – don’t come along every day. Zach was blessed with wisdom beyond his years, and a zest for life that could not be squelched by a mere death sentence. In his words, “I still have a lot of work to do.”

And so he went about living his life – and changing millions of other people’s lives in the process – knowing his time was running out. We all need to have Zach’s attitude. Don’t wait until you find out you’re dying to start really living!

My heart has been deeply touched today by Zach Sobiech. And I don’t think it’s just because I lost a child to cancer myself. Zach’s incredible spirit is simply inspiring. He didn’t use his bleak prognosis as an excuse to curl up into a ball and live out his days feeling sorry for himself; he used it instead as a reason to ramp it up and make every moment of his remaining days count.

The world is a better place because of Zach Sobiech. People have been inspired to be better people because of Zach. Those who loved him and whom he loved are left with an emptiness because of his absence, but I’m guessing that the presence of his spirit helps fill up much of that emptiness.

My heart goes out to the Sobiech family: Dad Rob, Mom Laura, big sister Alli, big brother Sam, and Zach’s little sister and best friend Grace. For all of you – and for each of you – my prayer is that God will grant you peace in the midst of heartache, blessings in the midst of trials, and hope in the midst of despair. Thank you for sharing Zach with the world. What a precious gift.

Here is Zach’s song “Clouds”.

Purchase Zach’s song “Clouds” from

And here is a celebrity music video of Zach’s song. Amazing! (See list of participating celebrities below.)

Video credits from the YouTube video page:

Director/Producer: Justin Baldoni
Producer: Ahmed Kolacek
Associate Producer: Fouad Elgohari
Editor: Nick Pezzillo

Brian Cranston
Sarah Silverman
Ashley Tisdale
Colbie Caillat
Chris Pratt
Anna Faris
Jason Mraz
Sara Bareilles
Andy Grammer
Jenna Fischer
Angela Kinsey
Jenna Elfman
Jack McBrayer
Jason Derulo
Kelly Oxford
The Mowglis
Rachel Bilson
Kina Grannis
Creed Bratton
Tyler Hilton
Mark Duplass
Josh Gad
Jason Wade
Paul McDonald
Ed Helms
Phillip Phillips
Justin Young
Alyssa Shouse

Paul O'Rear Signature



  1. Rayford, Janine. Heroes: Zach Sobiech, 17, Inspires Millions In Cancer Fight With Farewell Song : March 7, 2013.,,20679770,00.html (accessed May 23, 2013).

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