How you can honor Zach Sobiech’s legacy on his birthday

Zach Sobiech would have turned 27 this year – his birthday is on May 3.  Before Zach passed away from osteosarcoma in 2013, he started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, in the hopes that his legacy would make cancer treatment safer and more effective for kids diagnosed after him. For Zach’s 27th birthday, we created a list of 27 things you can do to keep his legacy alive.

For Movie Fans
  1. Watch “Clouds,” the 2020 film about Zach Sobiech’s life and rise to fame during his battle with osteosarcoma, on Disney+. If you’ve already seen it, recommend this heartfelt film to a friend.
  2. Watch the “Beyond the Clouds” episodes in the Extras of the “Clouds” movie on Disney+ for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of “Clouds.”
  3. Watch “My Last Days – Meet Zach Sobiech” on Soul Pancake’s YouTube channel. This 20-minute documentary features the real Zach Sobiech, as well as his friends and family.
For Readers
  1. Read “Clouds: A Memoir” by Laura Sobiech, Zach’s mom. To learn more about Laura’s process writing this book, and her reaction to her book being made into a movie on Disney+, read our Q&A with Laura here.
  2. Start a “Clouds: A Memoir” book club so you can discuss the book with your friends.
For Advocates
  1. Donate to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. Treatments for the cancer that took Zach too soon haven’t improved in decades. Zach wanted his legacy to change that, so he started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to support research for better treatments for this deadly cancer.
  2. Fundraise for the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. Rally your community behind Zach’s cause – you might be surprised by the support you receive. We have plenty of graphics, facts and assets for you to use as you spread the word.
  3. Send a C.C. Bear to a child fighting cancer. If you know a child with cancer, or a sibling who could use a nice surprise, you can send them a C.C. Bear here. Or, you can donate to the C.C. Bear Fund to ensure we can keep sending these free cuddly teddy bears to children fighting cancer.
  4. Share your childhood cancer story. When Zach and his family first shared their experience with osteosarcoma, they never imagined the impact it would have. Your story could inspire others, just like Zach’s does.
  5. Volunteer with CCRF in honor of Zach. There are many ways to share your time and talent. Participate in event support, community outreach or on our Soar Leadership Council. 
For Music Fans or Musicians
  1. Listen to “Clouds” and Zach’s other music. Before Zach passed away, he and his best friend and bandmate, Sammy Brown, wrote an album together as a way of saying goodbye once it was clear Zach’s cancer was terminal. Proceeds from Zach’s music support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund. After listening, check out our blog post in which Sammy looks back on the meanings these songs hold.
  2. Create a “Clouds” inspired playlist – songs that make you feel good when you’re down or remind you of someone you love.
  3. Film yourself singing “Clouds” and post on social media to spread Zach’s message. Use the hashtag #ZachsMovement.
  4. Ask your school, church or local choir to sing “Clouds.”
For the Science-Minded
  1. Move research forward with data. Osteosarcoma researchers need more data to continue developing better, safer treatments. If you or a loved one has osteosarcoma, click here to explore how you can participate in research studies that will fuel future breakthroughs.
  2. Learn more about osteosarcoma research and the progress Zach’s legacy has made possible by checking out these research updates.
  3. Share about the need for more osteosarcoma research. By raising awareness, you’re helping keeps Zach’s legacy alive and creating better, safer treatments for kids diagnosed in the future.
Wear Your Support
  1. Buy the “Pants” or “Roger” t-shirts, inspired by Zach and his sense of humor. Proceeds from each purchase support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
  2. Buy the “Clouds” necklace from Kendra Scott. Inspired by Zach’s song, “Clouds,” this necklace goes with everything and would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Proceeds from each purchase support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
Just for Fun
  1. Eat tacos, Zach’s favorite food, with family and friends. Show us your photos by using the hashtag #Tacos4Zach.
  2. Send a happy memory you have of someone who has passed away to someone who will treasure it. “When a random memory of a loved one who has died pops into your head, maybe instead of tucking it away on a dusty shelf in your mind, you could jot it down in a card or an email and send it to someone who will treasure it. Because the gift of a memory never comes too late and it never gets old.” –Laura Sobiech
  3. Go on a picnic with a loved one. Zach’s first date with his then-girlfriend, Amy, was a picnic. Pack a basket or backpack of your favorite foods and enjoy the time outside!
  4. Do one thing that scares you. As Zach said, “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”
  5. Do something silly with friends. When Zach and his friends found out he was terminal, they didn’t let what others thought of them get in the way of having fun. “We had to take the approach of let’s do this today, let’s not be afraid of what other people think of us, let’s just be ourselves,” said Zach’s friend, Mitch.
  6. Try mindfulness. “I feel like he taught us about mindfulness before mindfulness was a cool, trendy thing,” said Sammy, Zach’s friend. “Because senior year of high school, everyone is looking to the future, to college, but Zach knew that wasn’t going to be the case for him. So when we were all together we had to be really careful to just be in the moment and enjoy where we were at.”
  7. Bring a meal to someone facing cancer or other health crisis. “After getting home from school it was so nice to be able to grab the meal from the cooler and not have to think about it. I could focus on what was most important to me at the time.” – Alli (Sobiech) Shoemaker, Zach’s sister
  8. Check in on a friend. Laura, Zach’s mom, said this is the kind of support she needed most when Zach was in treatment. “One of the most thoughtful things my friend Anne did for me was to simply ask me straight out what I needed from her. Did I want her to check in with me often? Did I want company, or did I just want to be left alone? I so appreciated having the opportunity to just tell her what I needed.” – Laura Sobiech

Support The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund

Zach and his family helped start the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Directed proceeds from his music and other fundraisers help researchers tackle osteosarcoma.

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