Ian Bailey and his brother | Source: Facebook/Michael’s Fund4aCURE | Facebook/ShannonBailey
Ian Bailey and his brother | Source: Facebook/Michael’s Fund4aCURE | Facebook/ShannonBailey

Brave Boy Comforts His Little Brother After Telling Him He Is Dying

Bettina Dizon
Aug 16, 2023
11:00 A.M.

Before Ian Dane Bailey passed away, he left a mark on the hearts of his family and friends. He comforted his little brother while apologizing for being unable to beat cancer.


In 2016, David and Shannon Bailey received news a parent would never want to hear – their nine-year-old son, Ian Dane Bailey, had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma — a type of bone cancer. He went through months of chemotherapy after undergoing surgery and was eventually declared free of cancer in 2019.

At that time, the hospital's care team even serenaded him to celebrate his milestone. They entered the room with musical instruments and sang a rendition of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite."

Ian was visibly in tears as he watched the team's sweet gesture. Before wiping his eyes, he remarked that he usually doesn't tear up, but the occasion called for it. In a viral video of the serenade, one nurse could be heard telling Ian that they were so proud of him.


For the next few years, Ian Bailey lived normally and happily, but in November 2021, doctors discovered that the cancer had returned and spread to different parts of his body. Unfortunately, having aggressive cancer spread throughout the body was practically impossible to cure.

Ian Comforted His Crying Little Brother as He Revealed His Days Were Numbered

Shannon's brother, Junie Victor, set up a GoFundMe page for his nephew, which received over $2,000 in donations. On the page, he described Ian as an "incredibly smart, wise, caring, and selfless boy, who has been able to provide comfort to all while enduring and processing this major life change."


Following his first relapse, Ian joined a clinical trial, knowing the odds were stacked against him. "Even if I don't survive this, at least I have contributed to science to help find a cure for this disease," he said. Tragically, the cancer could not be defeated.

Ian held his brother tightly and kissed him on the forehead.

It was difficult for Ian's parents to hear that there was nothing more doctors could do to help Ian. Then 15, Ian cried, not out of fear, but rather wanting to do good before he left the world. He also wanted to tell his friends and brothers that he had a short while left to live.


The time came when Ian had to tell his younger brother of his deteriorating health. As his sibling absorbed the information and realized time with his brother would soon end, he burst into tears. Ian apologized to his little brother for not being able to beat cancer.

A viral photo that captured this moment made rounds on the internet. In the picture, Ian held his brother tightly and kissed him on the forehead. Meanwhile, the younger boy leaned on his brother's chest while embracing him.

Ian Wanted to Live His Last Days Doing Good in the World


Knowing he would soon pass away, Ian refused to die before he took his last breath. He wanted to live life to the fullest, no matter how short. In doing so, he lived not only for himself but also for those around him.

Ian passed away on April 4, 2023, in his home. He was 16 years old. Instead of flowers, his family asked for donations to be made to the Fourth and Gold Foundation in honor of their boy. One of Ian's nurses founded the non-profit organization, which aimed to fund cancer research for children.

Ian is survived by his parents, brothers Owen and Lincoln, grandparents Deborah and Gary White and Lawne and Karen Bailey, aunts and uncles, and many cousins.


Before his passing, Ian did several good deeds with his family, friends, and others in mind. He encouraged his peers to live to the fullest and face challenges fiercely, gracefully, and proudly. Beyond his kindness, Ian is remembered as an intelligent kid whose 4.75 GPA made him a top student at Fleming Island High.

Sadly, death is one of the harsh realities everyone will, at one point, have to experience. Losing someone is never easy, and while the pain can be learned to live with, it doesn't always get easier.

Sabrina Dungian, a mother of five, felt a similar heartbreak when she lost all her children on her birthday. Although she tried to save them, none of her kids survived the tragedy.

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