He Was 9 and Fighting Cancer But He Had One Dream—To Hold His Future Baby Sister In His Arms

When Bailey Cooper was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2016, the young boy fought to beat the cancer with everything he had. But less than two years after getting his diagnosis, Bailey’s parents received the news no parent and certainly, no child should ever have to endure.

As People reported back in 2019, doctors told Bailey’s parents, Rachel and Lee, “that he wasn’t going to survive. We were told it was days to weeks. We were very open with him. He was taking it in … He was thinking, ‘Oh no, I won’t meet my sister.’”

You see, there was one big thing that was giving Bailey the strength to carry on. Just a few months before they were given the grave news, the Cooper family had a glimpse of sunshine, Rachel and Lee learned they were expecting their third child together.

He Was 9 and Fighting Cancer But He Had One Dream—To Hold His Future Baby Sister In His Arms

Rachel and Lee already had two beautiful sons. Now, they were getting ready to welcome their first-ever daughter into their lovely family.

Bailey desperately wanted to meet his baby sister and vowed to do whatever he needed to do to make that happen. Lee told People that when they told Bailey about his future baby sister, “it completely lifted him. He was completely over the moon.”

And Bailey was with his mom every step of her pregnancy. “He was amazing. He was adamant about being around Rachel,” Lee told People.

“He’d always be cuddling her, trying to listen to the baby in her tummy. He’d sing to her. He was just anticipating meeting her. He’d read stories while resting his head on her tummy. He’d sing just so the baby would be familiar with his voice.”

On November 30, 2017, Millie was born and Bailey was “smitten,” his family told People. “He just managed to hang on, basically. How he did it, we don’t know.”

But Lee will never forget the first time Bailey held his sister “He’d come into the hospital, he sat down. He was getting quite frail, but he’d come straight in as quick as he could, shuffling his feet. We had to pass Millie to him. He just sat in the chair with Millie in his arms and he wouldn’t let her go.”

Bailey would get one month of love from his sister before passing away on Christmas Eve 2017. Just before he passed, his parents told Popsugar some of his final words, “I want to stay but it’s my time to go, to become her guardian angel.” 

Now, Rachel and Lee talk about Bailey to Millie every day. “We show her pictures of him. We’ve got pictures around the house of Bailey. Every time we mention Bailey’s name she points up at a picture,” Lee told People. 

The Cooper family admits that losing their baby boy has been incredibly difficult for them. “But at the same time, you look back and we were lucky to have nine-and-a-half great years with him.”

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