7-year-old Niles boy becomes 'cancer survivor:' school celebrates


NILES, Mich. -- Friday, February 28 was celebrated as Bailey Bennett Day at Ellis Elementary School in Niles.

“Well today is Bailey Bennett Day because my son is awesome,” said Bailey’s mom, Stephanie Bennett. “He’s fought an amazing fight of brain cancer and as of March 5th of this year, it will be a year he has been off of chemo; that’s when doctors say ‘cancer free.’”

Now, 7-year-old Bailey Bennett’s health problems began shortly after his schooling began. “In the first, beginning part of his kindergarten year he was experiencing, he had a lot of headaches,” said Bailey’s kindergarten teacher, Susann Jewell. “At first I thought it was maybe anxiety, kindergarten, when you come the first time.”

After the Christmas holiday doctors discovered a cancerous brain tumor.

“We picked up at the hospital and I got home and I wanted to fall to the floor and just scream and cry. And I had people at my door, people calling you know, what do we got to do you know, just there for us,” said Stephanie Bennett. “If it wasn’t for any of these people we wouldn’t have made it this far.”

A poster in the school hallway features a picture of Bailey wearing a superhero outfit. It reads, “Our Mr. Incredible. “I prayed a lot for him and our fellow teachers did as well, the whole community was praying for the family,” said Jewell.
Just in case things took a turn for the worse, Bailey and his family even made a Make A Wish trip to Florida. “It’s still nerve wracking, we still do MRI’s. Everything’s been clean, so I think we’re still going to be good,” said Stephanie Bennett.

Today all the 1st grade party goers wore the gray bracelets associated with brain cancer awareness as they helped their friend and classmate put a painful piece of his past—behind him.

“Every time I see him, it just brings joy to my heart and he's a walking miracle,” said Jewell. “I just love that little boy and his family and I know that he's going to go really far and have a real good story to tell.”


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