Jake Bailey


“No-one gets out of life alive.”

A humbling story today. That quote is a cliché, of course, but when spoken by an 18yo lad who was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma (one of the most rapidly advancing cancers) one week ago and told he had three weeks to live, it somehow takes on a different perspective. Especially when the young gentleman discharged himself from his chemotherapy in hospital in a wheelchair to fulfil his final duty as Head Boy of Christchurch High School for Boys (New Zealand) and delivered the valedictory speech at the end of the school year (it is end of spring in NZ).

It was Leo and Jaymee who drew this to my attention, because the whole matter was debated in class, Jake being held up as a wonderful example of courage:

“Some of us will not cross paths again; some of us will likely be seen on TV; others in print; some of us in prison… you know it’s true.”

“…be gallant, be great, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities that you have…”

“…moral strength is about making a conscious decision to be a person who doesn’t give up when it would be easy to, to be lesser because the journey is less arduous…”

“…forget about long-term dreams: lets be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. 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.”

Jake, you are indeed a man of true courage and an example to us all. Your fight against the cancer has reached out to millions through social media… even here to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Our thoughts are with you.

To everyone else: be thankful for the health and fitness that you have. We’ll be back on that theme tomorrow.

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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2 Responses to Jake Bailey

  1. GayFred37 says:

    You can see all the video at this link :

    Head boy delivers inspirational final speech just one week after cancer diagnosis – Mirror Online

    I don’t understand all of his speech, because I am french, but YOU, you CAN !

    GREAT BOY ! I will pray for him !

  2. tonycavanagh says:

    Well said, ‘GayFred’

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