Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer at the age of 14. The cancerous bone tumor, called osteosarcoma, led him to multiple surgeries and months of chemotherapy. All of these treatments proved unsuccessful. In 2012, the cancer spread to his lungs and pelvis. The doctors felt that he only had a few months to live and his mother suggested that he start writing letters to people he cared about.
Instead of letting this diagnosis lead him into a world of depression, Zach decided to do something with his life in order to share his spirit with others. He wanted to let his loved ones know just how much he cared for them and he never stopped smiling even until the end. Over the next few years, he took to music and wrote down his thoughts in the form of inspiring lyrics. He wrote several songs, but the one that has become most famous is called “Clouds.”
Last week, Zach passed away on May 20, 2013. His You Tube video has gone viral and his song “Clouds” soared to #1 on iTunes. Actor, Rainn Wilson (from The Office) was moved by Zach’s story and SoulPancake created a short documentary about the teen called: “My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech.”
To hear Zach’s song or watch the short documentary, click the videos. What a spirit Zach had!
Choi Sung-bong has overcome tremendous challenges in his life, but he has never given up and he keeps moving forward no matter what is thrown at him. At the age of three, Choi was abandoned in an orphanage in Korea. He claims that he ran away from the orphanage at the age of five after enduring several beatings by the people there. During his younger years, he survived by selling energy drinks and gum on the streets. The only places he could find to sleep were in stairwells and public restrooms. By the age of eight, he was working as a manual laborer and a delivery boy.
While doing these jobs, he met a women who ran a food cart outside a night club and she encouraged him to take the general education equivalency exam in Korea so that he could finish his basic schooling and enter high school. Ultimately, he graduated from Daejeon Arts High School, but he never received any vocal training because he did not have the funds to pay for the master classes.
Undeterred, Choi would listen to music and practice singing songs. During one his stays at Kun Yang University Hospital where he was being treated for medical issues involving a car accident, Choi volunteered to perform a recital for four students who needed financial aid for schools during his in-patient stay. He continued to sing because he said that this was the one thing he loved to do after living such a hard life in early childhood.
Choi ultimately ended up on the show Korea's Got Talent and the video below shows his initial appearance. He became immensely popular in Korea during the 2012 season and he finished second in the competition. Because of his TV exposure, his background was checked intensely and has been verified by the South Korean media. Choi truly exhibits strength and courage to keep fighting in life no matter what obstacles are in your way.