'The biggest battle was rebuilding myself': Jake Bailey on life after cancer

Source: 1News

Jake Bailey became a household name in November 2015, when his school prizegiving speech went viral.

Dying from an aggressive form of lymphoma, 18-year-old Jake dragged himself out of his hospital bed and onto a stage, where he delivered a powerful and moving address.

He had no idea that his speech would end up being watched by millions around the world.

His new found fame even led to an unexpected marriage proposal.

Jake and his mum sat down to talk with Sunday’s Jehan Casinader "I was laying in bed one morning, having a sleep in, and mum came woke me up and said, 'I've just been on the phone with the police'

"My mind was scrambling, what have I done that the police know about that I wouldn't want mum to know about," Jake said.

His mum picks up the story, "I got a phone call to say there was a woman who'd come from Turkey to New Zealand and her goal was to marry Jake."

Jake officially had his first stalker, but says he remains unmarried after some good work by immigration and the police.

After surviving cancer, Jake is facing new challenges, rebuilding his body and his life.

"I came out of cancer victorious but still broken.

"In a lot of ways, the biggest battle for me wasn't the cancer itself, it was rebuilding myself after that battle with cancer," Jake said.

The brave teenager is now using his profile in the hopes of demystifying the illness by sharing all he has learnt in a new book and documentary.

His book, What Cancer Taught Me, is out on Friday, and documentary The Common Touch, screens at the Documentary Edge Festival in Wellington this week, before screening in Auckland next month.