Since 2004, Bailey’s legacy has left a lasting and ongoing impact upon the patients and families at the Monash Children’s Hospital.
One little boy’s courageous cancer journey has inspired a great community to dig deep and give with their hearts, to ensure other children battling cancer can experience the best care possible and give their families a greater sense of hope during the treatment journey.
Bailey Tessier was just two years old when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer.
Even though he would spend many days and countless hours in the hospital, Bailey remained a bright and happy little boy.
His cheeky smile and joyful laughter often filled the ward, especially as he tried to sneak a few extra cookies when the nurses came with the food trays.
But despite long chemotherapy sessions and a tough fight, little Bailey sadly passed in July 2004, aged two and a half.
“Bailey’s journey at Monash began in a makeshift facility out the back of the children’s ward. Thanks to the heartfelt generosity of many, the Monash Children’s Cancer Centre is now a leading facility in the treatment of children’s cancer.”
– Patrick Tessier
Recognising a Need
Due to a lack of sufficient funding, Dr Peter Downie was the only oncologist employed while Bailey was being treated.
Dr. Downie also had to split his time between two children’s hospitals and many young patients needing treatment and care, meaning he often was only able to treat the children at Monash two and a half days a week.
Bailey’s family remembers seeing how much pressure Dr Downie was under, simply because he was the only doctor.
The Tessier family was determined to change this.
Driven to improve the treatment offerings and support at the Monash Children’s Hospital, Bailey’s family set up an annual fundraising golf day, lunch, and auction, calling it ‘Bailey’s Day’ in their little boy’s honour.
Now, 20 years on, the funds raised each Bailey’s Day have helped Monash Children’s Hospital reach impressive milestones.
Every donation has allowed for crucial medical positions to be filled, treatment methods to be developed and major breakthroughs in cancer research achieved, all with the purpose of giving more children with cancer and their families the support and care they need.
The Faces Behind Bailey’s Day
Patrick Tessier OAM
Patrick Tessier is Bailey’s father and the founder of Bailey’s Day.
His determination to ensure that Bailey’s death wouldn’t be for nothing has seen him raise millions of dollars through Bailey’s Day.
Patrick is committed to enhancing cancer services for other children and families, to give them access to better care and an increased sense of hope for the future.
His dedication has seen him receive an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition of his continued efforts.
Dr Peter Downie AM
Dr Peter Downie was Bailey’s doctor and helped to care for him during his cancer treatment.
Dr Downie is the head of the paediatric haematology-oncology unit for Monash Children’s Hospital, where he treats children with all types of cancer, as well as other children who have blood diseases that are not leukaemia.
He is also the Director of the Monash Children’s Cancer Centre, and the Medical Director of the Victorian state-wide paediatric integrated cancer service long-term follow-up program.
Dr Downie was recently awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to paediatric oncology, to teaching, and to research.