Laura Sobiech never thought her family’s story would make national headlines, much less become a major motion picture.
“I joke that we just bump along behind the story, and we go wherever God leads us,” Laura told The Christian Post. “I can see God’s hand throughout all of it, even today. It doesn’t stop.”
At the age of 14, Laura’s son, Zach, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He died on May 20, 2013, days after his 18th birthday. During the final year of his life, Zach, an aspiring musician, wrote a song titled “Clouds,” which became an unexpected viral sensation, reaching No.1 on iTunes and generating millions of views on YouTube.
Shortly after Zach’s death, Laura wrote a memoir about her family’s experience, titled Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way. Nearly seven years after his death, Zach’s story is hitting the big screen in a film titled “Clouds.”
Directed by Justin Baldoni (“Five Feet Apart,” “Jane the Virgin”), “Clouds” stars Neve Campbell, Fin Argus, and Sabrina Carpenter. The film, which hits the streaming service Disney+ on Oct. 16, begins four years after Zach’s initial diagnosis and follows his relationships with his family, friends, and girlfriend.
“The emotions of the movie were very accurate,” Laura told CP. “I think Justin did an amazing job of showing it in a way that I think really reflected how our family dealt with things. We’re not super overly emotional. He didn’t bang people over the head with the emotional part of it, but you can still experience Zach’s story in a way that it connects with your own life.”
The Sobiech family was heavily involved in the making of “Clouds,” filmed in Montreal, Canada. Laura was on set for some of the filming and donated Zach’s actual crutches and clothes to be used in the film. In fact, the red-checked shirt is the same shirt that the teen wore when he recorded “Clouds.”
“It was an emotional roller coaster up in Montreal,” she admitted. “It was tough seeing Fin wear Zach’s clothes. He’s built like Zach and he’s as tall as Zach was.”
Still, Laura admitted that when she and her husband, Rob, first watched the film, they both “cried and laughed,” adding: “That was kind of our gauge for whether or not it was true to our story, and it was.”
“Clouds” is loosely based on Laura’s 2014 book, which was birthed out of a series of blog posts she wrote throughout Zach’s journey.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett