What Cancer Taught Me

Author(s): Jake Bailey

New Zealand Biography

'None of us get out of life alive, so be gallant, be great, be gracious and be grateful for the opportunities you have.'

Delivered from a wheelchair while undergoing cancer treatment, Jake Bailey's inspirational end of year speech as Head Boy at Christchurch Boys' High School made headlines around the world. Diagnosed just a week earlier with the most aggressive form of cancer - one with often fatal results - Jake didn't know whether he would have the strength to deliver the words he had written before receiving the shocking news of his illness. And he had no idea of the significance his speech would assume as he lay in hospital enduring intensive chemotherapy. In this remarkably honest account of his illness, treatment and recovery, Jake shares all that the experience has taught him.

'Before I got sick I was dying to get home from school. I was dying for the weekends. I was dying for the school holidays, and then before I knew it I was dying in Christchurch Hospital.'

Confronting the possibility of death has led Jake to re-evaluate all that he took for granted in life and to encourage others to do the same. His book is an uplifting call to action to people of all ages.


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Jake Bailey caused a global sensation when he delivered a rousing speech from his wheelchair as Head Boy at Christchurch Boys' High School's end of year prize giving in 2015. Just one week earlier, Jake was diagnosed with Burkett's non-Hodgkinson lymphoma, the fastest growing form of cancer, and was given three weeks to live if this was left untreated.

A video of the speech he delivered to his fellow students was viewed by millions and attracted media attention from around the world. His now famous quote - 'Here's the thing, none of us get out of life alive, so be gallant, be great, be gracious and be grateful for the opportunities you have' - was voted Massey University's 2015 Quote of the Year.

Since his cancer was declared in remission, Jake has gone on to share his experiences in the hope of helping other people facing difficulties in their lives. He is in demand as a public speaker and is an official ambassador for the Maia Health Foundation in New Zealand and Tour de Cure in Australia.

General Fields

  • : 9780143770862
  • : Penguin Group (NZ)
  • : Penguin Books (NZ)
  • : 0.272
  • : May 2017
  • : 207mm X 137mm X 19mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jake Bailey
  • : 256
  • : 256
  • : Paperback
  • : Paperback
  • : 362.1969940092
  • : 362.1969940092