Cancer patients bravely battling the disease are driven by a variety of factors that inspire them to fight. Although they each have special reasons for continuing the struggle, the reason behind 9-year-old Bailey Cooper’s fight will shake you to the very core of your being.
It all started one summer in 2016 when Bailey started feeling a bit under the weather. His parents took him to the doctor and the diagnosis showed signs of the common cold. The doctor then sent the boy home afterwards. However, Bailey started feeling worse. When his parents took him once again to the hospital, they found out that their son was suffering from cancer.
Bailey Cooper was diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), a kind of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, affecting the body’s immune system. He started his treatment as soon as his parents found out about the diagnosis. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, it was proclaimed in February of 2017 that Bailey would survive and continue to live.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans. During Easter, the cancer came back to seek Bailey’s doom once again. In no time, the boy found himself back in the hospital.
Bailey’s father, Lee, shared with the Bristol Post:
“They thought there were no more signs of the cancer. He started back at Stoke Lodge school and from then we were home. He had to go in for regular check ups and routine MRIs every three months, but things were looking up.”
Baily underwent chemo once again, and he even had a stem cell transplant. The young boy fought hard and he was eventually released from the hospital at the end of July to enjoy a beautiful summer with his family.
Bailey’s mother, Rachel, said:
“We had six weeks at home with him that summer. It was amazing.”
Just when they thought everything was going to be okay, the cancer came back at the end of August. It was worse and more aggressive this time, spreading quickly to his stomach, lungs, and liver.
The doctor broke the bad news to Bailey and his family – he would not get to live very long. Once he knew he only had a few weeks to live, he started drawing plans for his own funeral and requested for everyone to be in superhero costumes.
But his ultimate goal was to fight until he got to see his little sister who was set to be born at the end of November.
Bailey Cooper fought hard and fulfilled his promise. He endured the pain long enough just to meet his little sister, Millie.
“We didn’t think he would last that long, but he was determined to meet Millie. It got to the end of November, and Millie was born. He hugged her and did everything an older brother would do – change her, wash her, sing to her.”
Shortly after Millie was born, Bailey’s condition began to rapidly deteriorate. In the face of oblivion, Bailey Cooper said a few touching words before he was taken to hospice on December 22:
“I want to stay but it’s my time to go, to become her guardian angel.”
The family stayed with Bailey on Christmas Eve. Seeing that their dearest boy was fast approaching death, they said:
“It’s time to go Bailey. Stop.”
As his parents words reached his ears, Bailey drew his last breath.
“The hardest thing is living without him. We have to carry on for Bailey. He told us in our last family meeting: ‘You’re only allowed to cry for 20 minutes. You have to take care of Riley and Millie.’”
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