The Heartbreaking Story Behind Ryder Buck, "Frozen’s" ‘Guardian Angel’

“There was so much wind beneath his wings, if only he could have landed.”

1. On Sunday night, Frozen won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

disneynumber1fan / Via skunkandburningtires.tumblr.com

2. The film’s producer Peter Del Vecho and directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck gave a special shout out in their acceptance speech.

Kevin Winters / Getty Images

3. “We’d like to dedicate this to our guardian angel, that’s my son Ryder Buck. Thank you, Ryder.”

ABC / Via cartoonbrew.com

4. In August 2012, Chris Buck’s son, Ryder, was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer.

Facebook / Ryder Buck / Via facebook.com

Facebook caption: “First rounds of chemo — at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.”

5. Even though it was tough, Ryder didn’t let this get in the way of chasing his dreams of being a successful musician.

Facebook / Ryan Buck / Via facebook.com

“After each dose [of chemotherapy], he would feel completely nauseated and bedridden,” Shelley Buck, Ryder’s mom, told LA Weekly. “But by the second weekend, there was just no stopping Ryder. He would be up again, jamming and doing more shows.”

6. He maintained an incredibly positive attitude, given everything he had been through.

Facebook / Ryder Buck

“We have to be willing to stop trying to MAKE things in our life happen, and just LET whatever is supposed to happen take place.”

7. This is him looking dapper behind Cameron Diaz at the 2012 Oscars.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Facebook caption: “Oscars ‘12… I was having a pretty good time needless to say.”

8. His treatments worked and apparently his most recent tests showed he was cancer free.

9. But last October, Ryder was killed in a tragic car accident.

Facebook / Ryder Buck / Via facebook.com

After his car broke down on the Glendale Freeway in California, Ryder was hit by two cars.

10. Over 1,200 people attended his memorial service, held on Nov. 1, 2013.

Shelley Buck / LA Weekly / Via laweekly.com

According to LA Weekly, Ryder’s mom didn’t expect nearly as many people to show up for the program which was originally planned to run for 90 minutes. The service ended up going on for three and a half hours, and the church had to set up multiple spillover rooms with televisions for guests to watch.

11. “There was so much wind beneath his wings,” his mom said. “If only he could have landed.”

Facebook / Ryder Buck / Via facebook.com

12. The 23-year-old died 24 days before Frozen hit theaters, but was still proud of his dad’s accomplishment.

Facebook / Ryder Buck / Via facebook.com

Facebook caption: “Check it out! Thanksgiving 2013!! Well done Chris Buck. — feeling proud.”

13. And the feeling was mutual.

ABC / Via cartoonbrew.com

“Thank you, Ryder.”

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