Zach Sobiech, the Lakeland 18-year-old whose hopeful song "Clouds" became an Internet sensation as he battled a rare form of bone cancer, has died, the Pioneer Press reports.
The teen passed early Monday at his home surrounded by family and his girlfriend, according to a CaringBridge post by his mother, the newspaper reported.
His family released a statement, the Pioneer Press reports: "It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of our son Zachary David Sobiech. Our family has been blessed not only by his amazing presence in our lives, but also by the love and support of our family and friends and by so many people in the community. In particular we'd like to thank those people who listened with their hearts and helped Zach bring his message and his music to the world."
The Children's Cancer Research Fund says that Sobiech through his message of love and hope "leaves a lasting legacy that many of us will never achieve."
Sobiech wrote "Clouds" as a way of saying goodbye to friends and family, and the song has had nearly 3 million hits on YouTube:
A number of celebrities did a lip-synch tribute version:
Sobiech earlier this year did an interview with KARE 11 in which he talks about his song:
CaringBridge noted that the Sobiech family asked that any memorials be sent to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund in lieu of flowers.