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Gary Sinise Shares Son’s Music After His Death: ‘Inspire Others’

Photo from Gary Sinise’s Instagram

Gary Sinise Shares Son’s Music After His Death: ‘Inspire Others’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Two months after his son, Mac, passed from cancer, Gary Sinise explained how his son’s five-year battle with the disease has inspired him and why he’s releasing Mac’s music.

“He was a pure soul. He had a pure heart. He was a gentle, loving, kind, funny, talented guy,” Sinise told ET about his 33-year-old son. “He loved his family. He loved his sisters. They were so close. He loved his mom. She was constantly with him throughout this cancer fight.”

Mac was diagnosed with Chordoma in 2018, a rare bone cancer that developed on his lower spine. Around the time of his diagnosis, Sinise was hit with multiple other family health emergencies, including his dad suffering a stroke and his wife being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“[That] was a really stormy period…It was just like, ‘God, what’s going on? What’s happening? This is challenging,” Sinise said.

Mac had surgery in September 2018 to remove the tumor in his back. Unfortunately, the tumor grew back, forcing the doctors to become more aggressive in their approach toward the disease. Sinise eventually took a step back from his career to care for Mac.

“In early 2020, Mac was going to have another surgery on his spine, because there were more tumors growing on his spine. And then he had another surgery in June. So in 2020, I just pulled back and put all my attention, all my focus on trying to help him,” Sinise said.

“Because I had a solid career, I could afford to stop and to just be available to my son and my wife, who was also going through challenges,” he continued. “Thank God I could afford to do that and take time to focus on them, while at the same time, trying to continue the foundation work.”

Unfortunately, even after more than two dozen attempts, Mac’s condition was only worsening, eventually causing him to become paralyzed from the chest down.

“It was not going to get better. There’s no cure. We tried 25 different drugs. These are just drugs that are used on other cancers and the doctors kept trying and they said, ‘As long as you want to keep trying, Mac, we’ll keep trying. We’ll come up with something.’ Mac said, ‘I want to keep trying.’ He was an incredible fighter,” Sinise said.

Even as his condition worsened, Mac stayed positive, and in the last year of his life, he returned to a love that he had throughout his childhood and college years–music.

“The last year of his life he started to create music again and it was beautiful,” Sinise said. “I bought him his first drum set when he was 9 years old…He played through high school and then he went to USC Thornton School of Music. He played drums all through college and stud[ied] songwriting and composition.”

“He created a bunch of pieces of music while he was at college,” Sinise continued. “He just put them away and didn’t do anything with them. About January of 2023, he said, ‘Dad, I think I want to try to finish this music that I worked on all those years ago in college.’”

Sinise gathered his resources and helped Mac refine these songs before recording an album.

“He achieved it. He got it all recorded. Him and his buddy Oliver worked so well together and created this beautiful music,” Sinise explained. “The album, it’s being pressed right now. It’s in presale at the Gary Sinise Foundation right now… As soon as it’s pressed, we’ll start releasing it. Eventually all of his music will be on the digital platforms and everything.”

Movieguide® reported:

Mac was a musician and composer. His father spoke with Fox News about his latest project, “Arctic Circles.”

“He was a drummer and used to play,” Sinise said of Mac. “He started listening to some old music that he had written back in school, and he connected with an old college friend, Oliver Schnee.”

“[Mac] played it for Oliver, who is also a composer and musician. Oliver fell in love with it, and they went to work on it to finish it, and they went into the studio this past summer, and it’s a beautiful piece,” he continued. “I hadn’t heard it until the day that they recorded it.” 

“The week the album went to press, Mac lost his battle with cancer. He died on January 5, 2024 at 3:25pm, and was laid to rest on January 23rd,” Sinise wrote previously.

“He inspired me, and if telling his story can inspire others to just persevere through their own challenges and never quit, never give up living, then that’s a good thing,” he said. “That’s a reason to share it… I’m proud. I’m proud to be his dad.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

Gary Sinise shared a touching tribute to his son, McCanna Anthony “Mac” Sinise, who died in January following a battle with Chordoma.

“On February 27, 2017, our son Mac joined the team at Gary Sinise Foundation as our Assistant Manager of Education & Outreach. I was thrilled and excited to have him come on board to help me with the mission,” Sinise began.

“As a father, having him as part of the Foundation was a gift,” he added. “He was a great representative who cared about the mission and those we serve, and I was eager to watch him grow with the organization.”

The father-son duo also enjoyed seeing military veterans in local hospitals and “rockin’ out together for the troops,” as Sinise played bass and Mac filled in as drummer when needed.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.