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Jake Bailey is the Christchurch Boys’ High School head boy who gave his end-of-year speech in 2015 from a wheelchair, a week after being diagnosed with the most aggressive form of cancer. His words went viral: "None of us get out of life alive, so be gallant, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities you have."
After enduring gruelling treatment, Jake has been declared in remission. He has moved to the Gold Coast to soak up the sunshine, eat well, and carry out public speaking engagements. One is at Waitaki Boys’ High School, where his Christchurch headmaster, Nic Hill was previously deputy rector.
Jake has written a book and said visiting high schools was the "favourite part" of his schedule.
"I love going back to high schools. There’s a sort of universal ladship. I seem to slot back in."
He believes his messages are likely to be taken on board by the pupils because they can relate to him.
Although they need not expect to face calamities, they should be "consciously aware that it’s not impossible".
Acting with grace was what he most wanted to get across in his Christchurch Boys’ speech, he said.
● Jake Bailey will talk in the Waitaki Boys’ High auditorium on Monday, May 15, at 7pm. Tickets, $15 including supper, are available at the school office and Oamaru Paper Plus.