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  • Published: 15 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770862
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $24.99
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Jake Bailey: What cancer taught me




Teenager Jake Bailey's inspirational account of overcoming cancer.

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


Jake Bailey’s inspirational end-of-year speech as head boy at Christchurch Boys’ High School was delivered from a wheelchair just one week after he was diagnosed with the most aggressive of cancers. As he lay in hospital fighting to stay alive, his speech grabbed headlines around the world.


Jake’s cancer, and that speech, became the start of a bigger journey that continues today. In this remarkably honest account of his illness, treatment and recovery, Jake shares all that the experience has taught him. His book is an uplifting call to action for people of all ages.

  • Pub date: 15 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770862
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Jake Bailey

Teenager Jake Bailey grabbed headlines around the world when he delivered a rousing speech from a wheelchair at his school’s end of year prize giving in 2015. At the time Jake was the Head Boy at Christchurch Boys’ High School, and had just one week earlier been diagnosed with the fastest growing form of cancer, Burkitt’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma,. He was given two weeks to live if the cancer was left untreated, and was hospitalised for three months while undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment.
A video of the speech Jake made to his fellow students was viewed by millions and attracted media attention globally. 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 New Zealand Quote of the Year.
Now in remission, Jake is based on the Gold Coast in Australia from where he travels to deliver inspirational speeches that draw on his experience of cancer and all that it has taught him. He is an ambassador for the Maia Health Foundation in New Zealand and the Tour de Cure in Australia.


Praise for Jake Bailey: What cancer taught me

“If you know someone with cancer, this will hopefully help with understanding what they are experiencing.”

Hamish Barwick, Gisborne Herald

“This is an authentic, incredibly honest and enriching account of a journey which could so easily have had a very different outcome.”

Ruth Brown, NZ Doctor

“What Cancer Taught Me is a profoundly hopeful book that reveals Bailey’s strength of will and character on every page. He writes with a voice you can imagine in the room with you — gentle, funny, and so matter of fact about his experiences that it is easy to forget just how difficult it must have been. ”

The Lancet Oncology


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