Inspirational schoolboy speaker Jake Bailey's cancer is in remission video

CHRISTCHURCH BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL/YouTube

The head boy of Christchurch Boys' High School, Jake Bailey, gave an emotional speech from a wheelchair at the school's end of year assembly in 2015.

Jake Bailey, the head boy whose inspirational prizegiving speech became a global hit, has announced his cancer is in remission.

The Christchurch Boy's High student shot to fame when he addressed his school prizegiving a week after being diagnosed with Burkitt's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma – a fast-growing form of cancer.

On Friday, after three months of intensive chemotherapy, Bailey, 18, announced he was on top of the disease.

Jake Bailey, 18, photographed at his mother's home on January 29, 2016.
JAKE BAILEY/SUPPLIED

Jake Bailey, 18, photographed at his mother's home on January 29, 2016.

"Recent tests show that my treatment has been successful and I am officially in remission," he said in a statement.

"There will be a lot of follow up care over the coming years and cancer makes no guarantees but for now I can get on with my life.

"But I'm just grateful to be alive."

He thanked his family, doctors, school and "the nurse who encouraged me to get out of my hospital bed and deliver my final speech", and said he was taken aback by the huge support he had received from the public.

"I was blown away by what an impact my words had on strangers but then I was blown away by what an impact strangers' words had on me. Some of the letters I received were incredibly humbling.

"The thing about facing death is that you get to rethink exactly who you are and who you want to be if you are lucky enough to get the chance. I want to make a difference more than ever before. Our lives are simply too fleeting not to."

Bailey won global acclaim for his grace and bravery when he unexpectedly left hospital to attend the prizegiving and deliver the speech he had written, but his school principal had intended to read for him.

Jake Bailey, who gave an emotional speech while suffering from cancer, has announced the disease is in remission.
CBHS

Jake Bailey, who gave an emotional speech while suffering from cancer, has announced the disease is in remission.

Looking gaunt and sitting in a wheelchair he told the audience, "None of us get out of life alive, so be gallant, be great, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities you have. We don't know where we might end up, or when we might end up."

He was given a standing ovation. A YouTube video of the speech has since been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Bailey is taking a gap year before heading to university and said he hoped to use the time to tell his story in schools and help other young people with challenges.

Christchurch Boys' High School head boy Jake Bailey is assisted by principal Nic Hill after his speech at the school ...
SUPPLIED

Christchurch Boys' High School head boy Jake Bailey is assisted by principal Nic Hill after his speech at the school prizegiving in November.

It would take time for him to recover from his treatment, he said.

Ad Feedback

"The chemotherapy has taken a huge toll on my body. It has left me with ongoing issues and it will take me time to get back to where I was previously.

"Sometimes I feel more like I'm 81 than 18."

JAKE BAILEY'S FULL STATEMENT

For the last three months, I have undertaken intensive chemotherapy for Burkitt's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In response to the incredible and at times overwhelming interest and support in my battle with cancer, I am now fortunate to be able to announce that recent tests show that my treatment has been successful and I am officially in remission.

There will be a lot of follow up care over the coming years and cancer makes no guarantees but for now I can get on with my life.

There is a massive team of people I want to thank. Firstly, my family and friends who have been on this long, rough journey with me. I could not have got through it without the people who have been by my side.

My medical team from the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Christchurch Hospital. You saved my life. I am in great admiration and debt of your caring, with overwhelming respect for not only what you do but how you do it.

The Christchurch Boys' High family for the amazing support they have given me. The benefit of such a tight knit brotherhood has been so evident.

the public for their heartfelt messages which have been exceptionally uplifting. I was blown away by what an impact my words had on strangers but then I was blown away by what an impact strangers' words had on me. Some of the letters I received were incredibly humbling.  

I'd like to make special mention of the blood and platelet donors whose donations helped save my life. To the nurse who encouraged me to get out of my hospital bed and deliver my final speech at prizegiving. To the ward cleaner whose smiles always made a difference to my mornings. Thank you.

Finally, I also want to mention the media, who don't always have a good reputation, but in my case have been extremely respectful to my family and I. 

I also want to acknowledge the other people who are undergoing treatment for cancer who have not necessarily received the same amount of support that I have.  I wish them and their families the best. I hope, like us, you share times of genuine depth amongst your hardship – moments probably missed if we didn't have to go through this.

The thing about facing death is that you get to rethink exactly who you are and who you want to be if you are lucky enough to get the chance. I want to make a difference more than ever before. Our lives are simply too fleeting not to.

So, during this gap year before I go to university, I would like to use my experiences to help young people or others who are facing challenges by telling my story in schools or other audiences if that might motivate or help others deal with their own struggles.

The chemotherapy has taken a huge toll on my body. It has left me with ongoing issues and it will take me time to get back to where I was previously. Sometimes I feel more like I'm 81 than 18.  

But I'm just grateful to be alive.

Jake Bailey

*comments are closed

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

New Zealand's must-try dishes

The Nest, by L'oeuf.

How many of these 40 dishes can you tick off?

Early puberty and poverty linked

Early puberty has been linked to physical, behavioural and mental health issues post-childhood and is more likely to ...

Impoverished children used to be the last to go through puberty; these days the opposite is true.

Sayers opposes 'pillow tax'

Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers has spoken out against Mayor Phil Goff's "pillow tax".

Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers is lending his voice to a number of Auckland accommodation providers unhappy with Phil Goff's controversial "pillow tax".

Big animals, big money

Anjalee arrived at Auckland Zoo in July 2015, as part of a programme that cost $3.2 million.

Auckland Zoo spent $120,000 on giant weta and $3.2m on elephants in recent times

Wellington

Hutt's infill housing dilemma video

Real estate agent John Ross supports building apartments in suburban shopping centres, but believes the best way to get ...

Realtor says greenfield developments, not infill, will solve Lower Hutt's housing shortage.

Our crowded schools

Newtown School was operating at 142 per cent capacity, according to Ministry of Education figures.

Almost a quarter of Wellington region's schools at risk of overcrowding, or already over capacity.

Plan for ATM no-beggar zones

Beggars near an ATM machine in Manners St, Wellington, on Tuesday. Businesses in the city consider it to be one of the ...

Wellington businesses want perimeters marked around ATMs to prevent intimidation of customers.

Light rail 'not as easy as it sounds'

An artist's impression of what light rail advocates hoped trams running along Lambton Quay would look like.

Engineering expert points out that simply switching from bus to light rail is not simple.

Canterbury

Full schools revealed

A Ministry of Education report reveals 214 schools around the country are considered over capacity, while 488 are at ...

Hundreds of schools over capacity or at risk of overcrowding as thousands of extra kids turn up.

St Asaph St changes

07042017 News Photo Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ
Christchurch CBD new cycle lanes. PHOTO: St Asaph St.

About 25 car parks could be reinstated after business leaders threatened legal action.

New Zealand's must-try dishes

The Nest, by L'oeuf.

How many of these 40 dishes can you tick off?

Cathedral Sq site for sale

The ANZ headquarters after the February earthquake in 2011.

Family will sell its prominent Cathedral Square property for the first time in nearly 100 years after abandoning rebuild attempts.

Waikato

Costumes at the ready

Debee-May McCarthy, owner of Tops 'N' Tales Costume Hire shop in Hamilton East, is excited the Sevens is coming to town.

The Sevens move to Hamilton is good news for the town's longest running costume store.

Nan guilty in baby case

Donna Catherine Parangi is on trial in the High Court in Rotorua charged with the manslaughter of her grandson Isaiah Neil.

A grandmother charged with manslaughter over the death of her grandson Isaiah Neil has been found guilty.

Tourist lost in the frost

Helicopter pilot Todd Dunham and crewman Bill McNeilly with Batel Rosenkrantz and SAR volunteers Matt Hazard, Dave ...

Rescuers bunked down in sub-zero conditions with a lost Israeli tourist. 

Business backs Sevens video

Lawrenson Group chief executive John Lawrenson is quietly optimistic about Hamilton hosting the sevens.

Bar owner John Lawrenson is optimistic about the Hamilton Sevens, since Dallas Fisher is in charge.

Taranaki

Anti-bullying tactics

Kerehoma addresses bullying in his classes, and helps the children find ways to make themselves safe.

Clayton Kerehoma works on anti-bullying tactics with his Brazilian Jui Jitsu class.

Father facing death

Shane Petersen said he has to stay strong for his children CJ, 6, and Chloe, 8.

Dad-of-two Shane Petersen has been told that his days are numbered - but he is refusing to just give up.

Snip, snip, secrets slip

Councillor Graham Kelly was suspended from two council committees after the report was discussed.

Come in for a trim, get a side of confidential information.

Fancy a round with Jordie Barrett

Photo: Reuters - All Blacks captain Richie McCaw

How much would you pay to play golf with Jordie Barrett?

Manawatu

Cloverlea School bike track opens

Makaiah Jennings tries out the new bike track.

Kids are riding rings around their teachers at Cloverlea School on a new bike track.

A cry for help

Rex Rosacker rang mental health services for a family member, but they said they couldn't help.

He rang mental health services. He rang police. But he had to rescue a family member.

'Wife could be next'

Police investigate a robbery at the Rangiora Mini Mart in Palmerston North.

Manawatu man fears his wife could be in danger as thieves raid Manawatu dairies.

Tenants' Union holds protest

The Manawatu Tenants' Union is urging other to join with them to demand more state homes, and affordable rent. Pictured ...

Too many trapped on waiting lists or paying "unaffordable" rents, Union says.

Nelson

Rise and shine

A bird is the point of focus in Nelson Intermediate School pupil Ben Palmer's picture of the sunrise on Tuesday.

Schoolboy Ben Palmer was up at the crack of dawn to take a cracker shot of the sunrise.

Kaye to save Salisbury?

For now, it remains business as usual at Salisbury School, says Education Minister Nikki Kaye.

​New Education Minister will carefully consider the future of Salisbury School.

Plan to stop spread of wilding pines

Wilding conifer control in Abel Tasman National Park is near completion, but requires many years of management.

Forestry companies are looking at ways to curb the spread of wild conifers on DOC land.

From party house to art house gallery

Doll heads in a birdcage. Who'd have thought?

This dinky Nelson home has been transformed from party place to artists' abode.

Marlborough

Big names behind surf comp

Surfer Alan Te Moananui.

Kaikoura Boardriders Coldwater Classic has plenty of heavies behind it as big sponsors come on board.

Purpose-built priority

St Andrews Property Group is developing the former Country Life Motel, south of Blenheim, to house more than 400 ...

Vineyard contractors encouraged out of rental market as Blenheim faces housing shortage.

Three in contention

Lauren Murray had another good night under the goal hoop for Harlequins Radich Law on Tuesday.

 First round honours in the premier netball competition will be fought out between three teams.

Food cart's unlikely ally

The Wheely Wild Food Cart on the side of State Highway 63 in November.

Roadside food truck was ticking along nicely; then came the quake, the customers, the complaint and the shut down.

South Canterbury

New venture for empty site

Bob Mason and business partner Ross Rathgen inside the old Lone Star premises, soon to become the Bullock Restaurant and Bar.

A new restaurant and bar will open in the former Lone Star premises in Timaru. 

Violence before death

The violence surrounding the death of Ashburton man Arran Gairns has been described in the High Court at Timaru.

Jury hears of yelling, splashing and violence on night before man found dead in ditch.

Waimate web plan approved

Waimate District Council has approved $40,000 to develop a marketing website for the district.

Waimate's council to spend up to $40,000 on new website.

School heads back to the 80s

Timaru Girls' High and Timaru Boys' High School students rehearse for their joint production Back to the 80's. Pictured ...

Dig out your leg warmers, crop tops and head back to the 80s with Timaru Girls' this week.

Southland

Brass teacher and pupil perform service for community

The youngest and oldest Balclutha Brass Band members, Alanah Anderson,10, and Bill Cross, 86.

Noteworthy service to community for Balclutha brass teacher and pupil.

Amundsen new deputy

Cr Rebecca Amundsen has been appointed deputy mayor by Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, after Cr Darren Ludlow resigned ...

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has appointed his new deputy mayor.

Who is in the Stags mix?

Marist second five-eighth Matty Johnson is one of the Stags midfield contenders for 2017.

Logan Savory takes a look at who he thinks could be contention for the 2017 Stags squad.

Sea Lions establishing colony on Stewart Island

A juvenile sea lion in Port Pegasus in January 2016.

Southland's plans for aquaculture could be scuppered by sea lions looking for love.

Ad Feedback