Gary Sinise Mourns Loss: Son Succumbs to Rare Cancer

WASHINGTON, DC: In this image released on May 28, 2021, Emmy Award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise hosts the 2021 National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC. The National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast on May 30, 2021.

McCanna “Mac” Sinise, the son of Gary Sinise, has passed away from a rare form of cancer. He was 33 years old.

The Gary Sinise Foundation announced on Instagram the passing of Sinise on Tuesday, with the caption, “In Honor & Memory of McCanna ‘Mac’ Sinise 1990-2024.”

The foundation announced that on August 8, 2018, Mac was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called chordoma.

According to the foundation, chordoma is a type of cancer that starts in the spine and typically impacts around 300 individuals in the US annually.

Sinise shared a heartfelt tribute to Mac on his website, revealing that his son passed away on Jan. 5, 2024, at 3:25 p.m. and was laid to rest on Jan. 23.

Just like any family going through such a loss, we are devastated and trying to cope as best as possible.

It is incredibly challenging for parents to cope with the loss of a child,” Sinise wrote.

He expressed his sympathy for those who have experienced a similar loss and for anyone who has lost a loved one.

We’ve all encountered it at some point. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of meeting numerous families of our fallen heroes.

It’s truly devastating and incredibly challenging.

Sinise detailed in his post that the summer of 2018 posed significant challenges for his family.The actor shared that his wife, Moira, received a stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis in June of that year.

After undergoing surgery to remove lymph nodes, she started chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

After two months, Mac received a diagnosis of chordoma. Sinise expressed his confusion at the time as he had never encountered such a rare cancer before.

Two cancer patients, a mother and son, within two months of each other? That was a real blow,” he penned. “I decided to search online to see what information was available.

Chordoma is a rare form of cancer. Chordoma typically originates in the spine and impacts an average of 300 individuals in the US annually. In 70% of instances, the primary tumor can be successfully removed, resulting in a cure.

However, in around 30% of instances, approximately 90 individuals annually experience a recurrence of the cancer.

Moira successfully fought cancer and has been in remission ever since. In September 2018, Mac had surgery to remove the first tumor, but unfortunately, the cancer came back by May 2019 and was spreading. 

“This initiated a lengthy struggle that increasingly impacted his abilities over time,” Sinise wrote.

Sinise remembered that in 2020, Mac resigned from his role as the assistant manager of education and outreach at the Gary Sinise Foundation to concentrate on his rehabilitation and recovery in anticipation of his fifth spinal surgery.

Mac’s Inspirational Album Amid Disability and Cancer Battle

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 09: Actor/musician Gary Sinise of the Lt. Dan Band performs as part of a Salute to the Troops event at the Fremont Street Experience on November 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Mac, a graduate of USC Thorton School of Music, had a strong passion for drumming, composition, and songwriting.

Unfortunately, his disability prevented him from continuing to play the drums or piano.

Even though Mac believed music was no longer relevant, he shared that his son found motivation in 2023 to complete a track called “Arctic Circles” that he had begun during his college years.

After completing work on the two songs, Sinise described Mac’s vision of releasing a full album called “Resurrection & Revival,” centered around the concept of revitalizing something old or incomplete.

Mac, along with his college friend, composer and arranger Oliver Schnee, completed three more original songs.

During November, he organized two sessions with Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band to record his original tracks and other songs that held special meaning for him.

“The week the album was finalized, Mac passed away after battling cancer,” Sinise wrote.

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