The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
Sports Writer

Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics
Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily Gouin April 19, 2024

Making the best of a Second chance

David Bailey spent most of his childhood in Beirut, Lebanon, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea largely known for its rich and dynamic culture. He attended school in both Beirut and Germany, and earned his degree from Grove City College near Pittsburgh. After an education that took Bailey to three different countries, he went on to work for the U.S. government and started living what most would consider a normal and stable life.

Then, in 1996, Bailey’s life drastically changed when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

“There’s really no place in the mind that’s prepared to deal with that kind of information,” he said. “The first week or so there was some fear, certainly, and a lot of confusion. I think I accepted it but I was committed almost immediately to fighting it and finding out what I could.”

And fighting is exactly what Bailey did. After being told he had six months to live, Bailey entered a trial treatment program at Duke University. He also quit his government job and took up singing and songwriting full time, something he dabbled with throughout his life but never took seriously until after his diagnosis. Over 11 years later, Bailey has defied his diagnosis and continues to perform his songs around the globe.

Story continues below advertisement

“Initially, what was just a distraction became part of a mission,” he said. “I found a new life in my music. I could use it to try and help other people. The more I did that, the less I was obsessing over my own issues.”

The now 42-year-old Bailey will perform on Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall. His performance is being sponsored by NMU and the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center (UMBTC).

Bailey said his main goals when performing are to both entertain his audience and get them thinking, which is something he hopes to accomplish at Northern.

“When people come to my shows I get some of the most amazing reactions: people laugh, people cry, people think. I think all of those are good,” said Bailey, who cites his musical influences as David Wilcox, James Taylor, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jim Croce and Jackson Browne.

“My goal always is that people leave inspired to do more and to do better,” he said. “Ideally, during the concert, they’ll both have a good time and enjoy what I hope is good music and good songwriting, and also a message of inspiration.”

Bailey’s motivating message was one reason he was invited to perform at NMU, said Rich Rovin, the medical director at the UMBTC.

“He’s out about 11 years from his diagnosis, which is truly remarkable,” Rovin said. “He shares his hope through stories and songs that are so moving and funny and honest that, whether you’re afflicted with cancer or facing any challenge in your life, it’s a great message to hear.”

Bailey has performed for UMBTC for the past two years as part of the Hope Starts Here Cycling Challenge, a bike ride through Marquette that raises funds for the center. Rovin said Bailey was invited back to share his songs with a broader audience.

“We really felt that his message was so special that we wanted to have a separate event to try and have more people have access to him,” Rovin said. “The appeal is so broad that it reached more than the folks who were at the bike ride. We wanted to have a wider representation of the community.”

Admission to the concert is free, but donations to the UMBTC are encouraged. For more information on Bailey, visit his Web site at

More to Discover