Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund gives a lift to University bone cancer research
Zach Sobiech is practically a rock star. With just months to live, the 17-year-old teen from Stillwater, Minn., started writing songs to say goodbye to his family and friends. And he chooses to embrace every day with hope and joy.
He never expected that his songs would make him world-famous. The YouTube video for Zach’s song “Clouds” has more than 2 million views, and through a partnership with Minneapolis-St. Paul radio station KS95, Zach achieved one of his dreams of writing and recording a song in a studio with professional musicians.
On Saturday, February 16, Zach and his friends will perform at a sold-out benefit concert alongside chart-topper Vicci Martinez and other Minnesota music notables at the iconic Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Ticket sales will benefit the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund through Children’s Cancer Research Fund in support of leading-edge research at the University of Minnesota.
Zach has been battling osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, since he was diagnosed at age 14. As the disease spreads, doctors have no more effective treatment options to offer him a cure.
His family created the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund to help advance several important research projects at the University—home to one of the top sarcoma research and treatment programs in the nation—aimed at giving children a better chance for a cure.
More than 1,100 people from 34 countries who have been inspired by Zach’s outlook on life together have donated more than $64,000 to his fund.
These gifts are helping University scientists develop new therapies to treat osteosarcoma. The University team—under the direction of Amplatz Children’s Hospital hematologist-oncologist Brenda Weigel, M.D., who holds the Lehman/Children's Cancer Research Fund Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer and codirects the Masonic Cancer Center's sarcoma program—is leading the charge to bring two promising new drugs to patients: an immune-based therapy and a drug that kills osteosarcoma cells. The fund also supports an effort to map the genetic factors that signal osteosarcoma growth.