Senior Diagnosed With Cancer Told He Wouldn't Speak At Graduation — But When He Did, He Said This

Beautiful words.

As Senior Monitor Jake Bailey takes to the stage at the 2015 Christchurch Boys' High School Prize Giving, the crowd takes to their feet and erupts in applause. 

Bailey, set to give a speech to his peers, teachers, and those in the audience, says doctors didn't think he could do it.  

Because a week before the ceremony, Bailey was diagnosed with cancer. 

"[Doctors] told me that I wouldn't be here tonight to deliver [this] speech," Bailey says in a video uploaded to YouTube. "But luckily, that speech isn't about what's to come, it's about what an amazing year it's been. And you didn't really expect me to write a whole 'nother speech from my hospital bed, did you?"

From here on out, Bailey's touching words pierce the heart while providing inspiration for all those listening.

Bailey talks about his experiences at Christchurch Boys' High School, thanks the teachers, parents, coaches, and friends who have supported him, and speaks to the value of friendship.


But it's Bailey's passionate words regarding the future that are particurlarly stunning.

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

Moreover, he challenges his peers to continue to better themselves as they grow, reminding everyone that they can control their futures.

"Work with passion and pride on what is in front of us. We don't know where we might end up. Or when it might end up," Bailey says.  

And at the conclusion of his speech, Bailey's peers rise from their seats and perform a haka dance, a "fierce display of a tribe's pride, strength and unity," used in ancient times and now to honor a person or occasion, according to

The fitting, impactful performance filled the room with emotion and as Bailey watches, he closes his eyes and takes it all in.

"I don't know where it goes from here, for any of us. For me, for you, but I wish you the very best in your journey, and I thank you all for being part of mine," he says.

Be sure to watch Bailey's full speech below:


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