Jake Bailey

Last night I went to hear a very inspirational speaker whose name is Jake Bailey.

I had seen the speech he made to his school just two weeks before graduation. He was the School Captain and had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. There was no guarantee that he would survive. The speech that he made at his final school assembly went viral on YouTube (you can watch it below). he did not get to do his exams or celebrate the end of school. Instead, he had months of treatment for his cancer.

Jakes story is inspirational because of the way he has used his near death experience to focus on how lucky he is to be alive.

This is what Jake said about his book……

Thank you, cancer

People live life with the idea “I don’t need to do it now, I’ve got plenty of time”. Most of the time that’s true – but not always. And now it’s a race for me to see how many people I can move, how many lives I can change, how many cities I can visit, how many flights I can take, how much new ground I can break, and how many things I can do that most 19-year-olds don’t get a chance to do, before I die. Then, when I do die, I’ll die with a legacy, and that gives me peace.

I’ve donated a trophy for gallantry to Christchurch Boy’s High, my winning quote is going up on the wall there; there’ll be people who remember meeting me, there’ll be people who remember listening to my speech. When I die, I’ll know that I’ve given my best shot at leaving the world a slightly better place through my actions. People have told me my words have helped them hang on when they came close to letting go.

Of course, I’d prefer not to die before my time. I’d rather keep doing my thing, and I’d be really sad for my family and for my girlfriend, but my position is that dying is not something for me to worry about. I’m not scared of dying.

Every day that I get is another one longer than I might have had. Every morning when I wake up, I know that I’m on borrowed time. It makes me feel a little insecure and uneasy, but I am so grateful for it.

I know it’s frustrating to the people around me when they get upset about little things and I’m quite blase about it. It’s just that it’s hard for me to get wound up about something that’s not life-or-death. The core of it comes down to the fact that anything this side of death is manageable. It might be difficult, it could be uncomfortable, but it can be dealt with.”


It is 18 months since Jake got the all clear. He is living life to the fullest on the Gold Coast with his girlfriend.

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