Remembering Tanner Seebaum, the Boy Who Lived His Dream Despite Cancer


Tanner Seebaum achieved more in his 16 years of life than most aspiring artists have attempted in twice that time, but the main difference is that Seebaum suffered from a lifelong battle with brain cancer and finally succumbed to the illness Friday morning.

Just several weeks ago, in fact, Tanner was having the time of his life, yet in the past couple of days he began to become delirious and started having difficulties processing information, as his parents posted on his Facebook page, and on Friday morning, his incredible life ended. The DJ community, and so many more, honored such an honorable human being.

Tanner was originally diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 2 and even though the tumor was removed during a 9-hour surgery, last year doctors told the Seebaum family that the tumor was back after 8 years of remission. The illness was terminal and it would slowly take over his brain, giving him very little remaining time with his parents and older sister. In an effort to make the most of this time, Tanner's parents, Matt and Stephanie, took him to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, enjoyed a vacation at Martha's Vineyard, and were able to get Tanner a practice session with Tim Tebow while he still played for the Denver Broncos.

Yet Tanner had a bigger passion that he decided to immerse himself in during his final year: DJing. Under the moniker DJ Seebaum, Tanner spent countless hours in his basement perfecting his skills in the genres of dubstep and trap, creating endless mixes and playing several fairly large shows in his hometown of Denver such as Digital Circus and Whomp Truck. But neither of those events even compares to the experience Seebaum had just weeks ago.

Despite being partially paralyzed across his right side, being in a wheelchair and without hearing in his right ear, Seebaum took the stage for 30 minutes at the Rehab Pool dayclub at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas during EDC weekend, a time when hundreds of thousands of young dance music fans migrate to the Sin City to witness one of the largest EDM festivals in North America. Booking such a gig is nearly impossible for amateur DJ's, but Tanner's parents reached out to a resident DJ at the space (DJ Mash-up King AKA Landon Dyksterhouse), who reached out to Mike Goodman, the VP of daylife and nightlife at the Hard Rock Hotel. And just like that, Tanner was all set.

Yet this wasn't just a charity case. Tanner was deeply ardent about music and spinning it in front of crowds, which helped him achieve a skill set that far surpasses a 16-year old. As Dyksterhouse put it himself, “Bottom line, we wouldn’t bring someone to Vegas who couldn’t come up to Rehab pool on EDC weekend and play a great set.”

Seebaum was remarkably gifted at the craft, which makes it so much more heartbreaking that he couldn't realize his full potential and his blooming career was ended far too early.

Tanner Seebaum isn't just a role model for patients of any terminal disease, though; he exemplified qualities that every human being should strive for. Tanner found a passion that he cared about so deeply that he brought it with him to his dying day, living his dream to the very end. Only the deepest condolences for the Seebaum family, who have allowed the DJ Seebaum Facebook page to remain online as a tribute to Tanner and his inspiration.

You can donate directly here to the Tanner Seebaum Foundation, which places special emphasis on the treatment of Ependymona and Glial tumors of the brain and spine.