Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise’s son dies of rare cancer

US actor Gary Sinise has announced the death of his son, five years after he was diagnosed with a “very rare cancer”.

The Forrest Gump star said his 33-year-old son McCanna Anthony “Mac” Sinise was diagnosed with Chordoma in August 2018, just months after his wife Moira was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

While his wife went into remission and has remained cancer-free following treatment, Mac’s cancer spread over time and “disabled him more and more”, 68-year-old Sinise said in a statement.

Mac, who was a graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, died on January 5 this year.

“Like any family experiencing such a loss, we are heartbroken and have been managing as best we can,” a statement on the Gary Sinise Foundation’s website said.

“As parents, it is so difficult losing a child. My heart goes out to all who have suffered a similar loss, and to anyone who has lost a loved one.

” … It’s heartbreaking, and it’s just damn hard. Our family’s cancer fight lasted for five-and-a-half 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.”

76th Cannes Film Festival
Tom Hanks played the titular role in Forrest Gump (Doug Peters/PA)

Sinise, who played Lieutenant Dan Taylor in 1994 Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump opposite Tom Hanks, said he felt “blessed, fortunate, and proud” to be Mac’s father.

In the tribute, Sinise said his son had joined the Gary Sinise Foundation – a charity that works with military veterans – and played drums in his father’s Lt Dan Band until many spinal surgeries left him unable to play the instrument.

“In sharing our story, we hope to shine a little bit of light on what has been a difficult time for us as Mac was truly a light for all of us.

“An incredible inspiration to those who knew and loved him, he faced his battle with grace, courage, and love. Even with one setback after another, he never stopped living and learning, creating, and giving, and loving.”

Sinise said the “one in a million” cancer originates in the spine and affects around 300 people in the US each year.