Gary Sinise Loses Son, Dead At 33

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

gary sinise

Gary Sinise, the actor many know from Forrest Gump, announced today that his son, musician McCanna Anthony “Mac” Sinise, had died of a rare spinal cancer, Chordoma. Mac was 33 years old. Mac had recently completed work on an album, Resurrection & Revival, and passed away on January 5, 2024, following a prolonged and brave struggle against the disease. 

McCanna Anthony “Mac” Sinise

His passing was announced on the Gary Sinise Foundation’s website; there, his father shared a touching tribute to his son’s life and battle with cancer. The actor wrote: “The week the album went to press, Mac lost his battle with cancer.” The elder Sinise went on to share the exact moment of his son’s passing, 3:25 pm. His son was laid to rest on January 23. 

Mac’s Chordoma diagnosis came in August 2018, only two months after the actor’s wife, Moira, received her own diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer. This combination of worrying news amounted to a double blow for the family. Moira’s cancer would eventually go into remission. 

Remarkable Strength

Chordoma, the rare cancer Gary Sinise’s son, Mac, battled with, affects only about 300 people in the US a year. In 70 percent of cases, the initial tumor can often be removed. Unfortunately, for nearly 90 others each year, including Mac, the cancer reemerges. 

The actor shared that, all through his illness, his son demonstrated remarkable strength and admirable determination. Mac received multiple spinal surgeries, operations progressively disabling him. All the while, Mac continued to contribute meaningfully and appreciatively to his father’s Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation. 

The Gary Sinise Foundation

gary sinise

The well-respected foundation was founded to serve veterans, first responders, and their families. Mac joined the staff in 2017 as Assistant Manager of Education & Outreach.

Gary shared that his son’s work there included digitizing the Foundation’s archives and overseeing the Education & Outreach Center—the latter involving hosting events, providing tours, and handling donors. Additionally, Mac contributed to “outreach with the military service members, veterans, first responders and families who were recipients of our support,” Gary’s announcement shared. 

Notably and meaningfully, Gary Sinise’s son inspired those around him, enriching their lives with his engaging personality and commitment to the Foundartion’s noble mission. The actor communicated that, even as his son’s battle with cancer grew more difficult, Mac still came to the Foundation’s office for the majority of 2019, only stopping after his third spine surgery that November. 

Gary Sinise Is A Beloved Actor

gary sinise

The actor, beloved by so many for his role as Luitenant Dan in the film currently streaming on Amazon, elaborated that his son’s “upbeat personality […] inspired folks through our Gary Sinise: A Call-to-Action exhibit in the Education & Outreach Center.”

There, Mac helped with the day-to-day activities alongside both national and national events. Gary Sinise went on to say: “As a father, having him as part of the Foundation was a gift.” 

Alongside his work with the Foundation, Mac lent his musical skills to his father’s band, the Lt. Dan Band, serving as its drummer; once again, his dedication to serving veterans and first responders was evident—in addition to his musical gifts. 

Fough An Uphill Battle

Sinise’s message included a touching portion in which he revealed that his son fought an “uphill battle against cancer that has no cure, but he never quit trying.”

His son’s dogged determination and bravery inspired his family to compare him to the soldier “at the end of the extraordinary film 1917.” 

As Gary Sinise describes, the soldier continues pushing through a hailstorm of explosives and bombs, continuing across the battlefield regardless of the danger around him, picking himself back up every time he falls and never quitting. 

Expressing Gratitude For Support

gary sinise

The Sinise family expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support, prayers, and kindness they received during their difficult time. Many have elected to honor Mac’s memory by contributing to the Chordoma Foundation or the Gary Sinise Foundation, gestures the Sinise family deeply appreciates, though they have not asked for anything specific in their time of mourning. 

Though Gary Sinise and his family are grieving, the actor shared they take solace in the fact that their son no longer suffers. His bravery and perseverance, displayed through how he managed his battle with Chordoma, inspires and moves them. 

Source: The Gary Sinise Foundation