BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Zachary Lederer lost his battle with cancer, but his memory and legacy lives on and was celebrated on Monday.
His strength was so inspiring, celebrities started to replicate his pose after brain surgery, called “Zaching.”
Zach’s pose while in a hospital bed created the verb, “Zaching.” It inspired so many people, and in his honor, May 1, 2017, in Howard County is proclaimed, “Zaching Day.”
His strength inspired everyone – from friends to celebrities – to strike a pose, later called “Zaching.”
At just 20 years old Lederer, the University of Maryland student and assistant manager for the men’s basketball team, lost his battle with cancer in 2014.
But his memory lives on through his loved ones and the support system he created, Zaching Against Cancer Foundation.
“We have partnerships with 15 hospitals in the state of Maryland, and one in Florida, and one in Massachusetts as well,” Zach’s mom, Christine Lederer, said. “And we work through their social workers to help people.”
In 2016, the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation helped more than 800 patients of all ages, and on Monday, Howard County honored Zach’s strength and heart to help others, with his very own day.
“It’s why I am pleased as the Howard County executive to proclaim May 1, 2017, as Zaching Day in Howard County,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
An honor for a young man who fought a battle against cancer.
“That symbol, that pose that he made, is a symbol of strength, courage, determination and hope, and that’s what Zachary felt throughout his cancer process, and that’s what he wanted other folks to feel as well,” said John Lederer, Zach’s father. “So thank you all for this day to recognize Zachary and the foundation.”
A victory won, not by surviving, but by spreading a message of strength, courage, determination, and hope, that lives on to encourage others.
And that victory is being celebrated.
“It’s a beautiful thing. Zach would be extremely proud and we’re proud of the legacy he’s left behind and the impact he’s had on so many people and it’s really nice that it’s acknowledged,” said Christine Lederer.