Jake Bailey is an 18 year old student at his school in Christchurch, New Zealand. The teenager, who holds the position of student president at his school, was scheduled to make a speech at a big awards ceremony last week, when his life took an unexpected turn.
One week before he was due to give his speech, Jake was diagnosed with an aggresssive form of cancer and told that if he didn’t receive treatment immediately he would die within 3 weeks. Jake entered the hospital for treatment and was able to leave his bed to attend the awards ceremony and make his speech. Jake was brought to the stage in a wheelchair and addressed the crowd by saying;
“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.”
He then proceeded to deliver a speech that literally brought the auditorium to their feet. Telling the crowd ‘Here’s the thing. No one gets out of life alive. So be gallant, be great, be gracious and be grateful for the opportunities you have. ”
He then goes on to encourage his classmates to do something that we rarely do to our young people, he encouraged them to live for now and not the future.
“Forget about long term dreams. Let’s be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short term goals. We don’t know where we might end up. Or when we might end up.”