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Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise pays tribute to 33-year-old son who died of rare cancer
Featured Image Credit: Gary Sinise Foundation/Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise pays tribute to 33-year-old son who died of rare cancer

The actor has spoken to his son's fighting spirit despite dealing with a very rare form of cancer

Warning: This article contains discussion of cancer which some readers may find distressing

Gary Sinise has paid a heartwarming tribute to his son, McCanna Anthony 'Mac' Sinise, who died of a rare form of cancer.

Many film and TV fans will recognize Gary for his many roles over the years - most notably for playing Lt. Dan in the cinematic classic Forrest Gump - but not everyone knows about his philanthropy away from the camera.

The 68-year-old has received multiple awards and honors for his extensive humanitarian work and involvement with charities, and even set up his own foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Gary's son, Mac, became a part of that foundation in 2017, contributing to his father's band, Lt. Dan Band, who played for military servicemen and women.

Following Mac's death, the foundation shared a touching tribute to him for his contributions, written by his father, detailing his journey with the organization and his diagnosis with cancer.

Gary Sinise shared a touching tribute to his son Mac.
Gary Sinise Foundation

Gary explained why 2018 proved to be a particularly difficult year for him and his family.

In the summer of that year, his wife Moira was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and then on August 8, Mac was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, called Chordoma.

Fortunately, after receiving treatment, Moira went into remission and remains cancer free, however, Mac’s health deteriorated.

Despite this, he still contributed to the foundation, appearing on its podcast and offering his insights whenever he was able to.

“Originating in the spine, Chordoma affects, on average, only 300 people in the U.S. per year. In 70% of the cases the initial tumor can be removed, and it is cured. But in 30% of the cases, perhaps about 90 people per year, the cancer returns,” Gary explained in the tribute.

Mac died of cancer aged 33.
Gary Sinise Foundation

“With Chordoma being such a rare form of cancer, there are very few medical centers doing research,” he added.

“During our long and challenging fight, we were blessed to have the support of the Chordoma Foundation. They are the only organization whose sole mission, 24/7, is to find a cure for this rare orphan cancer and beat Chordoma."

The actor confirmed that Mac died of cancer aged 33 on January 5 this year and was laid to rest on January 23.

He said this loss was particularly difficult for him and his wife and they are handling as best anyone can if they lose a child.

Gary wrote: “Our family's cancer fight lasted for 5 ½ years, and it became more and more challenging as time went on. While our hearts ache at missing him, we are comforted in knowing that Mac is no longer struggling, and inspired and moved by how he managed it.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the American Cancer Society on 1-800-227-2345 or via their live chat feature, available 24/7 every day of the year.

Topics: Celebrity, Cancer, Health