Kelsey Horton, Senior Editor

On 16 October 2020, several thousand people around the world sat down to watch the new Disney+ film, Clouds. Directed by Justin Baldoni, the movie tells the inspirational true story of a high school senior from Lakeland, Minnesota who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.

Throughout the film, it becomes evident to viewers that Zach Sobiech is a fun-loving, selfless, phenomenal teenager, despite the challenges that he faces daily. Sobiech works hard to keep the tension low in his family, as he tries to take care of himself so he is not burdening his family. He goes on to live his high school career as normally as he possibly can, spending time with his family, friends and girlfriend. 

Sobiech has plans to go on a picnic with Amy Adamle when he begins to cough uncontrollably. His mother, Laura, becomes concerned and takes him to the hospital just to be safe, where they find that his lung has collapsed and is in dire need of emergency surgery. Following the surgery, doctors inform the Sobiech family that Zach’s cancer has become terminal. In the winter, after discontinuing chemotherapy, the family takes a trip to Lourdes, France, in hopes that he will be healed by the waters of the Lady of Lourdes. 

Sobiech’s best friend, Sammy Brown, buys tickets to Jason Mraz’s concert and decides to also take Amy and use this as an opportunity to ask her to prom. Following the concert, Brown and Sobiech discuss the option for them to begin performing their songs and posting them on Youtube. Following the posting of their video, the two teenagers quickly gained hundreds of thousands of viewers and supporters. A beloved teacher, Mr. Weaver, shows their music video to BMI, who signs the two as a musical group called “A Firm Handshake.” After an inspiring weekend in New York, Sobiech finds the perfect lyrics for a new hit song. The best friends continue writing and performing their songs, when Sobiech becomes really sick.

Sobiech’s parents and doctors decide that it is best to just keep him comfortable for the time being, as he grows weaker by the day. The family proposes the idea to give Sobiech a final get together, before his time comes. They combine prom, his birthday and his graduation celebration all into one night. When that night comes, Sobiech and Brown perform together for the last time. In the middle of the performance, Sobiech becomes too weak to stand or sing, which causes the crowd to sing back his song in the same way he, Sammy and Amy sang back the song “I’m Yours” at the Jason Mraz concert earlier that year. Sobiech passed away on 20 May 2013.

After watching the touching movie, Clouds, I decided to do some more research about Sobiech and I learned that following the release of the movie, awareness for Osteosarcoma, along with his music increased, as many people donated to research for osteosarcoma. The movie ends by reciting part of Sobiech’s college essay that never got to be put to use, but encourages viewers to live everyday like it is your last.