Reporter: Zach can’t stop writing lyrics,
there are so many songs he wants to leave behind with only months to live. His song
called “Clouds” was born. [“Clouds”] Zach: Like every teenager out there feels invincible and they’ll never admit it and
it’s not the kind of invincible like Superman, it’s the kind of invincible like “I’ll see
you in five months.” I thought I was invincible. I was ready for college pretty much and I
was planning out way ahead and yeah, turns out sometimes you can’t do that.
Zach: My name is Zach Sobiech, I’m seventeen years old and I have osteosarcoma. I’ve been
told I have a few months to live but I still have a lot of work to do.
I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you’re
dying to start living. Zach: You know most people live kind of in the middle between dream come true and you’re
dying. And it’s a very comfortable place to live. I’m living on two extreme ends so you
have really really good days and you have
really really bad days. Laura: Zach has always been
incredibly empathetic and compassionate. This basketball game I
was kind of laughing about how one of the players had kind of a funny run and he goes
yeah but he’s really good at and he listed all these things and I thought he’s just always
looking for the good in people and I think he’s taught all of us that’s how it’s done.
Alli: I would say that Zach is a testament to the fact that things are okay when you
believe in something greater than yourself in the world.
Rob: You can be with Zach and just by sitting there with him feel better. He’s got, I don’t
know how to describe it, he’s got this aura about him.
Zach: What makes you happy, is seeing someone else smile because you put it there. That’s
what is awesome about living in this world. It’s that you can help people. Zach: I like the structure of our family with two guys, two girls for the kids and mom and
dad. Because it kind of evens everything out. Laura: Grace has always been his baby.
Grace: Zach is like the other half of me. All we need is to be there like in the same
room with each other and that’s enough for us! Thinking about my life about Zach, it’s
really hard to think about that. I really get sick to my stomach when I think about
it. Laura: Zach had been going through the eighth
grade and he and his sister decided to go for a run and he came back from the run and
told me “mom, my left hip hurts.” So we went in for an MRI and at this point still I’m
thinking, cancer was still not on my radar at all. Zach: They went in and
found out that it was cancer. It was osteosarcoma. And it was so
unbelievable honestly. Grace: I was upstairs in the kitchen. And
I just went upstairs and I cried. And I just said I got to live life like
Zach is going to die tomorrow. Zach: My mom walked in on me once when I was
lying on the ground because I didn’t want to associate my bed with being sick.
Laura: Five days after he finished chemotherapy. He had his routine CT scan of his chest and
they found tumors in both lungs. Laura: She told us six months to a year.
Zach: I just didn’t understand that. Like it didn’t make any sense to me.
Laura: We did have an option of surgery but that would me they’d have to take his left
leg and half of his pelvis and he wouldn’t even be able to sit up. That’s when we got
to the point where we have to make decisions about quality of life.
Zach: With the hospital, it’s the most sterile place in the world, but you just do not feel
clean there at all and it was tough being there because you felt totally disconnected.
Laura: He decided, I don’t want to be in the hospital all the time, I want to be out with
friends, I don’t want to feel sick, and I want to be home. Rob: In the house like this where we have six people and four kids part of the time
I enjoy Zach is just when we’re alone, just sitting there. We could be watching movies,
we could be talking cars or whatever. Laura: Zach likes to dream big so he kind
of got into cars and car magazines and stuff and that was one thing he would do in the
hospital. Zach: I would sort through the cards and be
like which one is the least expensive but has the highest performance. Nissan GTR is
like, it’s perfect! I’ve dreamt of that car for years. Laura: So we have a little tiny surprise for you. Zach: I don’t like surprises. Laura: Oh I think you’re going to like this
one. Zach: Holy crap! Are you serious?
Laura: You get to drive it for a week! Grace: You’re driving me places!
Rob: Hey Zach, what’s up! You like that? Pretty impressive huh?
Rob: The look on his face was so cool and when Zach lights up, it makes everyone happy!
Zach: It’s like being dunked in cold water and not being able to breathe but in a really
good way. Rob: It wasn’t the car, it was the experience
the car created and the joy that Zach received from driving it and the joy I received from
being with Zach when he got to drive it! Zach: Being able to experience these things,
it helps a lot because you can either sit in your basement and wait or you can get out
there and do some crazy stuff. Laura: When we found the cancer in his pelvis,
they said you know, maybe you should start writing some letters.
Zach: Music is a way I can express myself without having to burden everyone else.
Laura: I was cleaning up downstairs and there was a lot of paper laying around with different
scribblings on it and I picked one up and I read it and it was Clouds! Laura: Sammy and Zach have been dear friends for many many years. They are songwriters
together, that’s how they communicate with each other.
Sammy: Our musical thing its like really becoming something and it has become a part of us.
There’s going to be nobody like him to do it with again and that’s going to be really
hard. Zach: I find that with my situation it is
almost harder to become the other end. I have closure and she won’t have closure. Sammy: There are very very very few people
who I love as much as I love Zach. Zach: My closure is being able to get my feelings into these songs, so they could have something
to remember me by or lean on when I was gone. Laura: For me it’s Zach’s way of saying “I’m okay.”
And saying goodbye and I’m just so grateful it’s there because I’m going to need it later.
Sam: His music is kind of like a record of how much eh cares for us.
Grace: There’s this song that he wrote about me, “For My Grace” so I’ll keep that always
with me, constantly. Grace: I love you!
Zach: I love you too Grace! Saying that for like the first time ever!
[off camera]: Is it really? Zach: Pretty much. Yeah she’s pretty cool! Zach: I think with my diagnosis, we’ve become a better and stronger family. We all love
each other just that much more because when you go through stuff like that you go through
it together. Sam: You have to stick together as a family,
I mean that’s imperative because we’ve always been there since Zach was first diagnosed.
We’ve been there as a family, we’re all together and we have to make it through as a family
together. Alli: How will I remember my brother. Happy,
always smiling, and always limping around with his funny little walk. That’s as simple
as it is, happy I guess. Zach: My friends, I don’t know if they’ve
accepted me being terminal or not. They know that if they just treat me the same everything
will be fine honestly. Friend 1: He’s someone you can trust is going
to be smiling the next day despite his condition. Friend 2: He’s kind of just like a light in
the school. If I have a bad day it’s not actually really a bad day if I’m just complaining about
something. It’s all about perspective I think. Friend 1: He will always live on in my life.
The values he has taught me, memories we’ve had, they are so ingrained in who I am as
a person. Laura: Amy, she’s a smart girl. We knew he
was terminal when they started dating and she knew that. She sat down with her mom and
talked through it and what they decided was would you date him if he didn’t have cancer
and she said yeah. She has really helped him through some hard times.
Zach: One of our first dates was we planned a picnic just in a park somewhere.
Amy: I knew he was going in for scans that day.
Zach: We get the results back and my doctor walks in and she’s pretty quiet and she looks
pretty serious and it’s like well it can’t be that bad I mean come on. And she goes,
“So you’ve got a collapsed lung.” I’m like “Oh, okay.”
Amy: I broke down crying because it was like the first time it was real that he had cancer.
Because before it was, everything seemed normal. Zach: It was like cool can I at least go to
the picnic and then come back and have surgery, and they were like no we need to do this now.
Laura: He was so devastated because all he cared about was getting to that date.
Zach: I was pretty angry that I had to miss the picnic because who doesn’t like a good
picnic, it’s awesome, stupid lung. Amy: Good morning!
We’re not going to school today! Zach: Where are we going?
Amy: I’ll tell you. Zach: I don’t know where we’re going!
Amy: Just start driving, I’ll tell you! Zach: I almost burst into tears just because
it was so perfect. Picnic basket for cold pizza which pretty much defines our relationship
right there. Amy: We know what we both would want in our
future. We know that we love each other just the same amount. Well we talked about getting
married and having kids and our jobs, we do that a lot when we have bad days, so like
when we start to cry. That’s when we sit down and plan it all out.
Zach: We would have three or four kids, we haven’t decided yet. But I kind of want four
because you can have two boys and two girls then because that’s what we had in our family,
it worked out pretty well so. It’s one of those things that, it’s like your ultimate
dream kind of thing, so most people just ignore it or most people think “I don’t know if it
will happen” and you know mine obviously probably won’t. Amy: I think the moment I’m most scared about is leaving the hospital after he’s gone and
knowing that he’s not coming with. And having to walk out of there. Zach: I will actually love her to death,
to my death. That’s the thing it’s like why not
get married because you know, till death do us part and I’m dying so we better get on
this, that kind of thing but yeah I do love her to death, and I will, forever! Justin: Okay Sobiech family,
everyone come downstairs! So I’m Justin and I’m a director
and we’re here making a little documentary about your amazing family member and I came
here and I was expecting to meet a great kid who had a cool YouTube video and was inspiring,
but I was not expecting to meet a seventeen year old that would change my life. So when
I first contacted your mom I told her I wanted to make a music video for you, which we just
unfortunately couldn’t do. But what I was able to do was reach out to a few people and
I just told them your story and I told them I just wanted to do something for you because
you’ve done so much for us. What resulted was something very special. I just want you
to know, this stuff is not happening because you’re dying, it’s really because of the way
you’re living. I just want you to know that. Amy: You can just tell that they all love
Zach’s story and admire him so much and it was amazing to see.
Grace: He was in awe, like he couldn’t believe it and none of us could! Zach: The most bizarre thing I think I’ve ever seen, craziest feeling in the world!
Sammy: Seeing everybody who loves him at the end, it made me cry.
Zach: It really makes you want to keep on going. Zach: Aw Grace! Grace you’ve been my best friend for fourteen years. We’ve done so much
together and it’s going to be tough going but you have to keep being strong. You got
to kick some butt on the basketball court too and take them to the championship.
Zach: Sam, you’ve been the best big brother anyone could ever ask for. You’ve given me
so much knowledge. You have helped me through so much and I think it is, it’s important you know
that I love you because being guys I don’t think we say it too much,
but I do love you so much. Zach: Alli, squeeze from the back of the toothpaste
bottle. I’m going to miss you so much because you’ve always kept me strong in my faith and
everything. Zach: Mom and Dad, best parents anyone could
ask for I could only wish that I could have kids and raise them like you raised me because
you did one hell of a job. You’re the best parents anyone could ever ask for. I love
both of you so much and thank you for being my parents. Zach: Life is really just beautiful moments, one right after the other. All of these experiences
were super super cool. All of them are giving me a little bit more closure on everything
and kind of accepting everything a little bit more. Amy: He’s shown me that it’s not all about the grades you get or how cool you are in
high school, it’s about doing what makes you happy and no matter when you’re going to go,
to live life to the fullest everyday. Zach: It’s really simple actually, it’s just
try and make people happy. Maybe you have to learn with time, maybe you have to learn
it the hard way, but as long as you learn it you’re going to make the world a better
place. Laura: I think that’s actually one of the
blessings of cancer is that you kind of come out of denial and so in doing that, things
are better! That life is richer, everything means more, beauty is more beautiful, he’s a beautiful person
and I’m so happy to have been Zach Sobiech’s mom. Zach: Death is just another thing on the agenda kind of. Yeah it’s scary but the only reason
it’s scary is because you don’t know what’s next or if there is a next, so it’s kind of
like sitting in the dark. So you can either choose to be freaking out in the dark and
thinking okay what’s out there or you can just relax and fall asleep and just be happy
and content with everything. Zach: I want to be remembered as a kid who
went down fighting and didn’t really lose.