Young Florida Guitarist Who Had Special Friendship With SLASH Dies Of Cancer

According to, 20-year-old Heath Sammons of Palmetto, Florida — who fulfilled a dream by playing guitar in a jam session this past summer with his hero, former GUNS N' ROSES lead guitarist Slash — lost his battle with a rare form of bone cancer in the early morning hours of December 24. (Watch video of the jam session at this location.)

"He was such a fighter," Sammons' mother, Karis Meier, said of her son's nearly three-year battle with osteosarcoma. "He just believed that he was going to make it."

Meier said the private jam session with Slash last June in Los Angeles not only helped lift her son's spirits as he coped with rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, but evolved into a friendship with the 43-year-old rock star, who now performs with VELVET REVOLVER and is featured in the "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" video game.

"It helped him cope because Slash was always just a phone call away," Meier said. "Slash saw Heath not only as a young man who had an illness, but as a friend. They grew close."

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