Country singer Kevin Sharp, best known for his hit "Nobody Knows," died Saturday evening at the age of 43.
The music artist passed away due to ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues, according to his website, years after battling (and beating) rare bone cancer Ewing's sarcoma when he was just a teen.
It was his battle with cancer that led him to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which arranged a meeting for him with music producer David Foster when the organization learned Sharp was an aspiring musician, according to People. That meeting later led to a record deal.
"Four months into this new treatment, a woman I'd never seen before came to my bedside in the hospital," Sharp wrote, in a 2006 story for Guideposts magazine, according to USA Today. "'I'm from the Make-A-Wish foundation,' she said. 'We'd like to fulfill a wish of yours. Going somewhere you've never gone. Doing something you've never done. Or meeting someone special...you give me the name and we'll do everything possible to make it happen.'"
Months after he met Foster, Sharp found out he had beaten cancer. "If there is one thing that might be more shocking than hearing a death sentence, it's hearing that death sentence lifted," Sharp wrote. "Finding your way back into life after being taken out of it for so long is harder than you might imagine."
After his 1996 album, Measure of a Man, went gold, Sharp went on to become a motivational speaker and still supported Make-a-Wish.
Although his health worsened in 2011, he still traveled around spreading a message of hope. "My life is performing and speaking, so not only does it keep a roof over my head, it keeps me going emotionally," he told Phyllis Stark of Country Weekly magazine in 2012. "If I didn't believe what I try to express and tell others, I wouldn't be here. Luckily, I believe in what I preach."
In honor of his memory, Kevin's camp is asking that donations be made to local Make-A-Wish chapters.