Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise's son Mac dies of rare cancer aged 33

Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 star Gary Sinise has announced the death of his son Mac, 33, after battling a rare cancer.

In a post on the Gary Sinise Foundation website the 68-year-old revealed his son died on 5 January.

In a lengthy tribute to his son, he said: "Like any family experiencing such a loss, we are heartbroken and have been managing as best we can.

"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."

In the tribute, Sinise said his son, whose full name was McCanna Anthony Sinise, had joined the Gary Sinise Foundation and played drums in his father's Lt Dan Band until repeated spinal surgeries left him unable to play the instrument.

He said his son "was an exceptional drummer" and added: "Those were some great times, father and son rockin' out together for the troops."

The actor praised his son for fighting the rare cancer Chordoma for five-and-a-half years, adding "it became more and more challenging as time went on".

He said the "one in a million" cancer originates in the spine and affects about 300 people in the US each year.

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Mac underwent five spinal surgeries and was ultimately left paralysed from the chest down.

He died on 5 January and was laid to rest on 23 January.

"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," Sinise said.

"He fought an uphill battle against a cancer that has no cure, but he never quit trying."

He added: "I am so blessed, fortunate, and proud to be his dad."