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9-year-old boy fought cancer long enough to meet his newborn sister

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May 17, 2018
05:32 A.M.

The little boy was determined to fight the poor odds that doctors had given him just so that he could meet one special person.

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Bailey Cooper was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the summer of 2016 after he had been feeling unwell. When a number of different rounds of antibiotics did nothing, doctors performed a blood test that confirmed the worst.

As reported by Bristol Post, the diagnosis started a 15-month battle with the awful disease, with Bailey refusing to give up the fight.

By the time Bailey's cancer was discovered, it was already at Stage 3. Doctors immediately started the little boy on chemotherapy and steroid medication, and had high hopes that he would be able to recover fully.

In February of 2017, he went into remission. He returned home, and started going back to school again. He still needed to go for check ups on a regular basis, but life seemed to have returned to some semblance of normal.

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Just before Easter in 2017, Bailey went for his first MRI scan. Doctors performed the scan, and Bailey and his family headed off to Finlake Holiday Park in Devon for a break.

On the second day after their arrival, they received the dreaded call from the hospital. Bailey's cancer was back, and he needed to return home immediately for treatment.

Things weren't looking good for the little boy, but his doctors were still confident in the 70 percent survival rate.

Bailey started chemotherapy again, underwent more steroid medication, and even had a stem cell transplant. By the end of July, he was back in remission.

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But doctors warned his parents, Lee and Rachel Cooper, that there would be nothing they could do for Bailey if the disease returned a second time, and that even if it didn't the long term effects of his treatments would be with him for life.

At the end of August, Bailey was weak again, and a trip to the hospital confirmed the awful news. This time, the cancer was Stage 4, and had already spread to Bailey’s chest, lungs, liver and stomach.

Lee and Rachel were told that their eldest son would have only a few days or weeks left.

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They broke the news to Bailey, who broke down briefly before asking what would happen when he passed. He then started making plans for his own funeral, requesting that all the guests dress up as superheroes.

Slowly but surely Bailey started to become weaker, and his pain got significantly worse. All the while the little boy wanted nothing more than to meet his little sister, who was due to be born towards the end of November.

“We didn’t think he would last that long, but he was determined to meet Millie. It got to November, and Millie was born. He hugged her and did everything an older brother would do – change her, wash her, sing to her,” Rachel said.

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Bailey even ended up being the one to name her, suggesting the sweet moniker while on their way to the hospital to deliver the baby girl.

In the days following her birth, Bailey's condition deteriorated rapidly. He would spend most of his time asleep on the sofa or unresponsive in his bed.

He knew that he would not make it to Christmas, and when his parents insisted he write a wishlist for the holiday, he only included things his younger brother Riley would want.

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On December 22, Bailey had to be rushed to hospice by ambulance. His family sat watching him slipping away from them, in a tremendous amount of pain.

“By Christmas Eve we knew it was not going to be long. We told him ‘It’s time to go Bailey. Stop.’ The moment we said ‘stop’, he took his last breath and had just the one tear come out of his eye. It was peaceful,” Rachel recalled.

Throughout his entire battle, Bailey had smiled for his family and friends. He had even told them at their last family meeting that they were not allowed to cry for more than 20 minutes after he was gone.

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