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Gary Sinise’s Son Mac Dies Of Rare Cancer At 33

February 27, 2024 - Culture

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McCanna “Mac” Anthony Sinise, the musician son of actor Gary Sinise, has died of the rare spinal cancer Chordoma, the Forrest Gump star announced today.

Mac Sinise, who had recently completed work on his album Resurrection & Revival, died on January 5 following a years-long battle with the disease. Gary Sinise announced his death today on the Gary Sinise Foundation’s website.

“The week the album went to press, Mac lost his battle with cancer,” his father wrote in a lengthy tribute. “He died on January 5, 2024 at 3:25pm, and was laid to rest on January 23rd. Like any family experiencing such a loss, we are heartbroken and have been managing as best we can…I am so blessed, fortunate, and proud to be his dad.”

Mac Sinise was diagnosed with Chordoma in August 2018, just two months after Gary Sinise’s wife Moira was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. “What was happening?,” write the actor. “What is Chordoma? I had never heard of this. And two cancer patients, mother and son, within two months of each other? A real punch in the gut.”

As Sinise explains, 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.” While Moira Sinise’s cancer went into remission, Mac underwent two spinal surgeries but the Chordoma had returned by May 2019.

“This began a long battle that disabled him more and more as time went on,” Sinise writes. “The cancer fight was getting harder, but throughout most of 2019 he was still able to come to the GSF [Gary Sinise Foundation] office, until a third spine surgery in November of that year.”

Mac Sinise joined the Foundation, which serves veterans, first responders, and their families, in 2017 as Assistant Manager of Education & Outreach. “I was thrilled and excited to have him come on board to help me with the mission,” Sinise writes. “His job duties included handling and digitizing our Gary Sinise Foundation archive and managing our Education & Outreach Center, which included hosting events, giving tours, stewarding donors, and outreach with the military service members, veterans, first responders and families who were recipients of our support.

“With his engaging and upbeat personality, he inspired folks through our Gary Sinise: A Call-to-Action exhibit in the Education & Outreach Center, and he assisted in everyday activities, and local and national events also. As a father, having him as part of the Foundation was a gift. 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.”

Mac Sinise also served as drummer in Gary’s band the Lt. Dan Band.

“As parents, it is so difficult losing a child,” Sinise writes. “My heart goes out to all who have suffered a similar loss, and to anyone who has lost a loved one. We’ve all experienced it in some way. Over the years I have met so many families of our fallen heroes. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s just damn hard. 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.

“He fought an uphill battle against a cancer that has no cure, but he never quit trying. Mac loved movies, and we always told him he reminded us of the soldier at the end of the extraordinary film 1917, running through the battlefield, bombs going off all around him, knocking him down one after the other, yet he keeps getting back up, refusing to quit and keeps running forward.”

In a addendum to Sinise’s post, the Foundation notes, “At this time, Gary and the family have not asked for anything. They shared that all the kind words and prayers have been incredibly helpful and uplifting. Some folks have taken it upon themselves to contribute to either the Chordoma Foundation or the Gary Sinise Foundation. We make sure to update the Sinise family about donations received in honor of Mac. They are so grateful for your prayers and support.”

Read Sinise’s full message here.

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