Cancer survivor Jake Bailey: Risk of relapse 'inspires me to live each day to the fullest'

Cancer survivor Jake Bailey says his risk of relapsing "undeniably has an impact", but instead of holding him back, it pushes him to "live each day to the fullest". 

Mr Bailey was on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning to speak about the charity Youthline, which he is fundraising for through the event, Rescue Run on September 8. 

"The youth mental health situation and the crisis in New Zealand is something I'm passionate about," he said. 

Mr Bailey, well-known for his inspiring head-boy speech about his battle with cancer, said he was supporting Youthline because the figures around youth mental health in New Zealand were "completely abhorrent, in my opinion there is some serious work that needs to be done". 

"In New Zealand there is such a stigma around mental health that people don't feel comfortable having a conversation about it."

Health-wise, Mr Bailey is now 100 per cent, but the risk of relapse is always there. 

"It undeniably has an impact, and it is an entirely positive one, there is always that risk of a relapse, it's always going to be in the background and for me I don't have a problem with that," he said.

"I really embrace it because the knowledge that in reality I can go home and have a shower tonight and find a lump and I could be in hospital tomorrow, that knowledge isn't even a negative thing because it inspires me to live each day to the fullest, it means I'll spend today doing everything I want to, and nothing I don't want to."

The cancer survivor and Youthline campaigner spoke this morning about his passion for mental health services in New Zealand. Source: Breakfast