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‘CSI’ Star Gary Sinise’s Son Was Paralyzed from Chest Down Yet Kept Doing His One Favorite Thing

  • Mac Sinise, son of “CSI” star Gary Sinise, tragically passed away at the age of 33 after battling a rare cancer.
  • Even though he was paralyzed from the chest down, Mac continued to do the one thing that kept his spirit and soul going.
  • Now, even though his family is devastated by the loss of Mac, they still find comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain.

Gary Sinise’s son, Mac Sinise, died at the age of 33 after a long illness with a rare cancer. The Gary Sinise Foundation published a tribute announcing that Mac passed away on January 6, 2024.

Gary Sinise attends the 25th annual Sons Of Italy Foundation National Education and Leadership Awards Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise attends the 25th annual Sons Of Italy Foundation National Education and Leadership Awards Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

Mac was laid to rest on January 23, 2024. Gary told how his son courageously fought a tough battle with incurable cancer. The “CSI: New York” star is very proud, blessed and blessed to be Mac’s father.

In a lengthy and emotional tribute, Gary opened up about Mac’s life. He revealed that his son has been playing drums since he was 9 years old. An accomplished drummer, Mac will replace Gary’s drummer, Danny Gottlieb. He will play drums on “CSI: New York.” Rap party with Trung Dan band.

He sweetly recalls: “It was a wonderful time, father and son were in the army together.” However, Gary’s family was rocked when mother and son were diagnosed with cancer just a few months apart.

Gary Sinise and Moira Harris attend the ceremony honoring Gary Sinise with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, on April 17, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise and Moira Harris attend the ceremony honoring Gary Sinise with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, on April 17, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

The summer of 2018 posed significant challenges for Gary’s family. In June of that year, his wife Moira Harris was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. After lymph node surgery, she began treatment with chemotherapy and radiation.

Gary Sinise and Moira Harris at the premiere of "The Big Bounce" at Mann Village Westwood in Westwood, California, on January 29, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise and Moira Harris at the premiere of “The Big Bounce” at Mann Village Westwood in Westwood, California, on January 29, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Then, on August 8, 2018, Gary’s family received the surprising news that Mac had been diagnosed with a rare cancer called Chordoma. The revelation left them reeling as they grappled with the rarity and severity of the disease.
Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary researched online and discovered that Chordoma, a type of cancer that originates in the spine, is extremely rare, affecting about 300 people in the United States each year.

He also learned that while 70% of cases allow for successful removal of the initial tumor and subsequent treatment, the remaining 30% face the risk of cancer recurrence, posing a difficult challenge for his family.

Moira Harris and Gary Sinise during the 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala Presentation - Red Carpet at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, on January 7, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Moira Harris and Gary Sinise during 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala Awards Presentation – Red Carpet at Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, on January 7, 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Luckily, Gary’s wife went into treatment and was soon in remission. Her cancer hasn’t returned since. However, for Mac, the battle was harder. Following the surgery to eliminate the initial tumor in September 2018, Mac underwent an additional spinal procedure in February 2019 to deal with what appeared to be an infection.
Gary Sinise is honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, on April 17, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Hollywood, California, on April 17, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Regrettably, a subsequent scan in May 2019 showed that his Chordoma had resurfaced and was spreading. Thus began a prolonged battle, during which Mac’s condition worsened over time, posing greater challenges to his well-being.

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Even as the cancer fight got harder in 2019, Mac still went to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s offices. He stopped going to the office in 2019 after a third spine surgery in November 2019. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, Mac’s position at the foundation was the Assistant Manager of Education and Outreach as of February 27, 2017.
Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary’s son’s responsibilities involved managing the Gary Sinise Foundation archive, digitizing materials, and overseeing operations at the foundation’s Education & Outreach Center. This included organizing events, conducting tours, engaging with donors, and reaching out to military service members, veterans, first responders, and their families who received the foundation’s support.

Gary Sinise filming on location for "CSI: New York" in New York City, on October 1, 2012. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise filming on location for “CSI: New York” in New York City, on October 1, 2012. | Source: Getty Images

Gary noted that Mac Sinise had a friendly demeanor, so, he made a positive impact on visitors at the Gary Sinise: A Call-to-Action exhibit and contributed to various local and national events.
Gary Sinise and Moira Harris at the premiere of "The Big Bounce" at the Mann Village Theater in Westwood, California, on January 29, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise and Moira Harris during “The Big Bounce” Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, on January 29, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

The actor said having Mac on the team was a blessing as he was deeply committed to the foundation’s mission and the individuals they assisted. Gary looked forward to seeing his son progress within the organization.

Gary Sinise attends the premiere of Cinedigm Entertainment Group's "SGT. Will Gardner" at ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, California, on January 8, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise attends the premiere of Cinedigm Entertainment Group’s “SGT. Will Gardner” at ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, California, on January 8, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Gary expressed that Mac consistently infused their mission with joy and pride, especially evident during hands-on events such as the Soaring Valor gatherings, which honored WWII heroes, and the Invincible Spirit Festivals, where the Lt. Dan Band uplifted wounded veterans at military hospitals across the nation.
Moira Harris and Gary Sinise (center) with family at the world premiere of "The Cat In The Hat" at Universal Studios Cinemas in Hollywood, California, on November 8, 2003. | Source: Getty Images

Moira Harris and Gary Sinise (center) with family during World Premiere of “The Cat In The Hat” at Universal Studios Cinemas in Hollywood, California, on November 8, 2003. | Source: Getty Images

Mac’s enthusiasm was evident whenever he joined Gary on the road, and his dedication to their cause shone through in every interaction. “I was eager to watch him grow with the organization,” noted Gary.

Gary Sinise arrives at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, on August 10, 2016. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise arrives at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, on August 10, 2016. | Source: Getty Images

Gary reflected on Mac’s determination to contribute to the foundation even while in recovery at home. Despite encountering personal obstacles, Mac enthusiastically began the endeavor of launching the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

His commitment shone through as he successfully conducted two interviews, one with the foundation’s video producer, Kip Perry, and another with Gary himself. However, in January 2020, on the eve of his fourth spine surgery, Mac recognized the need to step away temporarily from the foundation duties to focus on his health.

Gary Sinise speaks during the National Memorial Day Concert - Rehearsal at the U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise speaks during the National Memorial Day Concert – Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Gary acknowledged Mac’s decision to prioritize his recovery, understanding that it required his full attention, especially with a fifth spine surgery scheduled for June 2020, followed by radiation and ongoing chemotherapy.
Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

As Mac continued his relentless fight against Chordoma, friends and family wanted to help. So, the family created the page “Team Mac,” where they could raise funds for the highly-required research to find treatments for this rare orphan cancer.

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Band. Dan performs at the 6th annual "CSI: NY" midseason party in Studio City, California, on October 29, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band perform at the 6th annual “CSI: NY” mid-season bash in Studio City, California, on October 29, 2010. | Source: Getty Images

Mac’s condition worsened when the cancer paralyzed him from the chest down. Due to his disability, he couldn’t play drums and piano anymore. This was a blow to Mac, who was a graduate of the USC Thorton School of Music. At school, he also played drums and studied songwriting and composition. At one point, he played drums at their home’s garage.
Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary recounted how Mac, in 2023, despite his health challenges, found inspiration to revisit a piece of music called “Arctic Circles” that he had composed during his college years but never completed. Mac dubbed his piece “Arctic Circles” as a nod to the wintery nature documentaries that brought him solace during his hospital stays.

Eager to bring the project to fruition, Mac reached out to Dan Myers, the violinist and singer for Gary’s Lt. Dan Band, for collaboration. Despite being paralyzed from the chest down due to cancer, Mac persisted in working on the piece, utilizing his limited mobility.
Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

He either worked from his hospital bed at home or in his wheelchair. With a stylus attached to his right hand and a small keyboard on his hospital bed table, Mac found ways to input ideas and refine his music, demonstrating his resilience and determination.

Gary and Mac Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary and Mac Sinise on a video dated September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

In April 2023, Dan suggested reaching out to pianist Ben Lewis, a longtime friend and fellow bandmate. Mac then got in touch with his college friend, composer, and arranger Oliver Schnee. By June 2023, Mac shared a scratch piano track of “Arctic Circles” recorded by Ben with Oliver.
Mac and Gary Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Impressed, Oliver agreed to help finish it, and they began collaborating. After exchanging notes and fine-tuning, Oliver completed a stunning arrangement. Mac chose July 17, 2023, for the recording session, coinciding with his sister Sophie’s visit.

Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

The session was booked at the renowned Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, with Mac financing it himself. Oliver and his father, acclaimed recording engineer and producer Bill Schnee, organized top studio musicians, and Bill oversaw the mixing board.
Mac Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise is a video dated September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac continued pursuing his love for music as he battled cancer. However, with drumming no longer an option, his mother recommended he try the harmonica. Embracing the suggestion, Mac began teaching himself to play.

Mac Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise is a video dated September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary was impressed by Mac’s rendition, so, he proposed the idea of arranging strings to accompany him. Since Oliver was already orchestrating “Arctic Circles,” Gary thought it made sense to include “Shenandoah” as well.

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

This collaboration sparked Mac’s vision for an entire album titled “Resurrection & Revival,” centered on the theme of revitalizing old or unfinished works. Mac stayed on a mission to accomplish his vision as much as cancer was a burden for him and his family. His efforts paid off as his full album will soon be available.
Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on a video dated February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac was excited to share the album with the world but he couldn’t as the week the album went to press, he departed from this world. Mac celebrated his last birthday during a recording session at Blackbird Studios.

Mac Sinise and Harry Connick, Jr. on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise and Harry Connick, Jr. on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Harry Connick, Jr. made a surprise appearance to surprise Mac on his 33rd birthday. His surprise visit added more fun to the studio session. Mac cut the cake with his loved ones and shared happy moments filled with laughter on his recent birthday.
Sinise Mac Cake on Video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Sinise Mac Cake on Video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Until Gary’Sinise’s sit-down interview with Raymond Arroyo on December 29, 2023, the actor had not publicly addressed Mac’s uphill battle.

Sadly, on December 30, 2023, the day after Gary’s interview with Raymond, Mac was rushed to the emergency room due to difficulty breathing. Although he was stable, he was still admitted to the hospital. Gary remained by his side, hoping to stay as usual and return home.

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

During those early days, Mac shared his interviews with hospital staff, delighted by their reactions to his music videos on his YouTube Channel. However, as the days passed, his condition became worse. On January 5, 2024, at 3:25 a.m., surrounded by his family, he peacefully succumbed to his battle with Chordoma.

Gary’s family expressed their gratitude to everyone who provided help, love and support during their trying time. They thanked Mac’s caregivers, Mimi and Lulu. The family also noted that Mac was known to have a deep devotion to the Catholic faith.

This commitment certainly gave him strength throughout his arduous five-and-a-half-year struggle against debilitating Chordoma cancer. The family revealed that Mac’s favorite quote from St. Augustine was, “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts do not rest until they rest in you.”
Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac and Gary Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Although Mac’s family mourns his absence, they find solace in knowing that he is now free from suffering. They were inspired and moved by his remarkable resilience throughout the ordeal, especially because Mac always focused on what he could do and never on what he couldn’t. can.

Gary and Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Gary and Mac Sinise on video February 22, 2024 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Despite facing an insurmountable battle against cancer with no cure, Mac never gave up. His family acknowledged that his passion for cinema was often compared to the resilient soldier in the poignant film “1917”.
Mac Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Mac Sinise on video September 1, 2023 | Source: Youtube/@macsinise7489

Like a soldier enduring endless bombardment on the battlefield, Mac continuously stood up after each defeat, refused to surrender and moved forward. Now, with his passing, the family who loved and missed him is extremely comforted when their loved one is no longer in pain.

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