5/3/2014 should have been Zach Sobiech’s 19th birthday. He should have been finishing up his 1st year in college. Instead it’s 11 1/2 months since he passed away after years of valiantly battling for 4 years with osteosarcoma, 2 1/2 weeks after his 18th birthday.
I, truthfully did not know about Zach Sobiech or his family until the day he died on 5/20/2013. That’s when I read about his viral hit song “Clouds” and his family in People magazine. That same day I checked out his song “Clouds”. I checked out he celebrity video for “Clouds”, as well as his video about his last days on Soul Pancake. The links will be posted at the bottom of this blog.
I, truthfully wanted to do something right away, as I was nothing short in awe of this young man and his family. As days and months past, though, as I found myself wanting to do something and he was instrumental in my launching my blog and help fortifying me with strength to do the activism and advocacy that I do on the internet, because even though I am of limited means, I felt I could do something despite my complex disabilities to make the world maybe a slightly better place.And try harder to become a better person. I have never in my whole entire life been more positively influenced by anyone person and people that I have never met, like I’ve been influenced and inspired by Zach Sobiech and his family and friends.
Zach Sobiech and I have something oddly in common. Other than living in Minnesota. We both spent time at Fairview University Medical Center in Minneapolis,MN. I’m not comparing my circumstances to his, though. I chose to have a gastric bypass in my early 30’s. While I didn’t choose my complications or the the need for my gastric bypass to be reversed to save my life, he didn’t choose to have an aggressive form of cancer that would tragically end his precious life at such a young age. He did choose to make the best of his circumstances and try to raise awareness for childhood cancer so that children with cancer would have more birthdays in an amazing way. I used to talk when I was in the hospital a lot, especially in 2010, to parents who’s kids were very sick on the 5th floor there, which was Pediatrics. As I had a lot of trouble staying in bed and would walk around the campus. Those parents had the saddest eyes. I used to see the same parents there, month after month.Some of them for years. I’d listen to them. I met their amazing kids and I’m sure the amazing nurses and doctors, there, before Amplatz opened up, helped them in the battle. It would haunt me. It still does. And I am so grateful to have had healthy children.
I had though, to get over the issues I had with some of the mistreatment I received at Fairview University Medical Center, to be able to do this, even though his foundation is not just Fairview specific. I’m not saying that there isn’t some amazing medical professionals at Fairview University Medical Center. Because there is. However my own circumstances did get me labeled and they made it much harder on me, than they had to, at times. Which I did end up filing a grievance against the hospital last fall. All I wanted was an apology for some specific incidences. Didn’t get that but to be able to do this, as well as I have friends who gotten treated well at Fairview University Medical Center, as well as friends employed withing Fairview, I had to get over that. I probably will in the future address this, in my normal activism. But not now.
For the next 2 1/2 weeks that I’ll be trying to raise awareness of childhood cancer in honor of Zach Sobiech, from what should’ve been his 19th birthday until the 1st anniversary of his death. And hopefully money. I don’t know why any of us can’t at least be an advocate of raising awareness and donating money for research so there can be a cure for one day, even if it’s just one dollar. Or sharing awareness if you don’t have any money. While most of the time I spend raising awareness about body diversity, weight loss surgery, bullying and mental health issues, we could all at least for one day, all be advocates in trying to help raise money and awareness for childhood cancer in hopes of a cure.
I’m not saying my social media contacts who are normally either raising awareness about adult and childhood obesity or my social media peers who are angry about all the attention that obesity gets and shouldn’t, have to stop doing that. But it does anger me that there is so much dialogue, awareness and money raised now for obesity, it’s like we are a country that can’t stop talking about anything else. No one child or adult should have to fight or die from cancer. But thousands and thousands of children are dying from cancer, every year. If we gave childhood cancer 1/2 the attention (and it deserves MORE) that we gave weight issues, some of them actually could probably have been cured by now.
Hopefully we can all come together to raise awareness in honor of such wonderful young man and his family.
Rest In Peace, Zachary David Sobiech…….
No copyright infringements intended on the links below……
Celebrity “Clouds” video/My Last Days Zach Sobiech
My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech
“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech