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Student With Cancer Gives Moving Speech That Blows Everyone Away

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Jake Bailey is an 18-year-old student whose words have resonated with classmates, school officials and, really, the whole world.

Bailey recently gave a brilliant speech during an awards ceremony at New Zealand’s Christchurch Boys’ High School, despite the fact he had cancer and could’ve been dead:

I wrote a speech, and a week before I was due to deliver this speech tonight they said, ‘You’ve got cancer.’ They said, ‘If you don’t get any treatment within the next three weeks you’re going to die.’ Then they told me I wouldn’t be here tonight to deliver that speech.”

Well, Jake, who has Burkitts non-Hodgkin lymphoma, was there — taking a break from treatment at the hospital — and his words, including this insightful reminder, stirred the souls of everyone on hand:

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

​My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to continue to grow, to develop for the better. The future is truly in our hands. Forget about having long-term dreams. Let’s be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Micro-ambitious….We don’t know where we might end up, or when we might end up.”

At times Jake was understandably choked up and always pensive. His speech was a rousing success and ended with the audience giving him a standing ovation and his fellow students performing a haka, which is a traditional war cry and dance, while he looked on. Then, the students and administrators performed the school song.

The speech has since gone viral for reasons that are easy to see. So, watch and soak in Jake’s message.

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