Real Life

Christchurch student Jake Bailey’s emotional speech goes viral

Jake’s powerful speech has touched hearts all over the world
Jake Bailey

Christchurch Boys’ High School head boy Jake Bailey has received widespread acclaim after a video emerged of his emotional final school speech.

The 18-year-old, who is currently undergoing treatment for Burkitts non-Hodgkinson lymphoma, was told he had just weeks to live if the aggressive form of cancer was not treated. Jake received the shocking diagnosis one week before he was due to deliver his prizegiving speech in front of his peers and the wider school community.

Due to Jake’s health issues, the school had arranged for the prizegiving ceremony to be filmed so he could watch it while he remained in the hospital. However, Jake surprised everyone by appearing in person to deliver his speech, and the video has since gone viral, racking up thousands of views on YouTube.

Principal Nic Hill told Stuff that Jake has “had a lift from the support”, with the school being inundated with messages from those touched by his brave words.

“It was a stunning speech, but the emotional context behind it was really powerful,” he told Stuff.

After his speech, Jake’s fellow students responded by giving him a standing ovation and a spontaneous haka – watch the clip below. You can watch the full video of Jake’s speech here.

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