Jake Bailey has vowed to use his experiences in beating cancer to help other young people.

The Christchurch Boys High School senior monitor whose heart-wrenching speech to his peers after he was diagnosed with cancer went global has spoken publicly today for the first time.

Jake Bailey on his cancer fight: "I'm out of the woods for now"

After months of intensive chemotherapy, 18-year-old Mr Bailey has been told by doctors that he is now in remission from Burkitt non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


He is now on the slow road to recovery.

And as he said in his inspirational senior prize-giving speech which has touched hearts around the world, he is making short-term goals and being "micro-ambitious".

"I try not to look too far into the future now," he said.

"My experiences over the last few months have shown me that you can't really do that."

Mr Bailey had planned to study law and commerce at university this year.

Now, he's taking the year off and plans to spend some time recovering on the Gold Coast.

But he hopes that his cancer fight, and incredible response he had to his speech which featured the now famous words, 'Be gallant, be great, be gracious and be grateful for the opportunities that you have', will help inspire other young people.

"I'm looking to definitely share my message with other young people who are going through difficult times, in the hope that it can help someone else," Mr Bailey said.

Today he also spoke of his decision on November 4 last year to make the arduous journey from his hospital bed to the senior prize-giving, in order to fulfill his "duty" as senior monitor, or head boy, and deliver his speech.

One nurse helped convince him to give it a go.

"Without her, it wouldn't have happened at all. Her words were, 'I don"t want you to regret not doing it'," he said.

"The one thing that really drove me to do it was needing to finish the year as strong as I had started it. I felt I had an obligation to myself, as well as to the school to be able to deliver that speech."