Boy bravely battled terminal cancer so he could meet newborn sister

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Source: Lee Cooper Source: Lee Cooper

A 9-year-old boy fought terminal cancer long enough to meet and name his newborn baby sister before he died.

Daily Mail reports Bailey Cooper, from Bristol, England battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for 15 months and was determined to live long enough to hold his new sibling.

His mother gave birth to a daughter in November of 2017, and Bailey named her Millie. The family released pictures of him holding Millie for the first time the day before he died, on Christmas Eve.

His parents Lee and Rachel clutched his hands as he passed away, having bravely smiled through his treatment since he was diagnosed in the summer of 2016. 

"We didn't think he would last that long, but he was determined to meet Millie," Bailey's mother, Rachel, said. "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."

The family knew Bailey was unlikely to survive to celebrate Christmas but encouraged him to write a list of gifts he would like. But his parents noticed they seemed to be chosen with his 6-year-old brother in mind.

Knowing that he was dying, Bailey  planned his own funeral and asked that all guests dressed up in superhero outfits.

He told his parents in their last family meeting, "You're only allowed to cry for 20 minutes. You have to take care of Riley and Millie."

After being taken to a hospice on December 22, Bailey's family gathered by his bedside and read him stories to keep him company.

"By 11.45 a.m. on Christmas Eve, we were by his bedside," Rachel said. "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."

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Bailey on January 6.