Ashley Cain Has Updated Fans On His Daughters Condition After Raising £1million For Her Leukaemia Treatment In Less Than 16 Hours

With over 108,000 donors and influencer friends donating up to £20,000 each, the family can now afford Azaylia's life-saving treament.

Ashley Cain and his family

by Georgia Aspinall |

This weekend, a fundraiser for the daughter of reality TV personality Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee raised over £1million in less than 16 hours. Azaylia Diamond, who was born in August last year, has AML Leukaemia and needs life-saving CAR-T therapy plus a haplo transplant that is only available in Singapore and costs more than £1million – with a deposit of £500,000 just to be accepted onto the programme.

Cain posted the appeal for financial help on Instagram on Sunday, where he has 862,000 followers, stating ‘Azaylia is such a strong little girl who has fought through every near impossible battle so far and she has done it all with love in her heart and a smile on her face. We pray that we can raise the funds to get her to Singapore so she can continue fighting for the life that she loves so much.’

The appeal made waves on Instagram, shared by influencers far and wide. This morning, as ‘Ashley Cain’ trends on Google, so do the names of Pretty Little Thing co-founder, Umar Kamani, and In The Style co-founder Adam Frisby. Kamani donated £20,000 to the Go Fund Me, while Frisby donated £10,000. Faded Store also donated £10,000, with Sophie Hinchcliffe (Mrs Hinch) giving £3000 and Love Island contestants Molly-Mae Hague and Maura Higgins donating £1,000 each.

While people may be primarily searching for who the biggest donors are, they are also searching for ‘CAR-T therapy’ and ‘Haplo transplant’, presumably hoping to know more about Azaylia’s upcoming treatment. This morning, Cain posted on Instagram to explain she was currently undergoing her fourth round of chemotherapy and another bone marrow test. ‘Along with a lumber puncture, for samples of cerebrospinal fluid and blood to be sent to Singapore, via a special 48 hour delivery process, to preserve cells for them to begin tests and create a CAR treatment for Azaylia’s disease,’ Cain said.

The former-footballer turned reality star was overwhelmed by the public response to the GoFundMe, which has over 108,000 donors currently. ‘I’m absolutely lost for words,’ he said in an emotional video posted to Instagram Stories last night. ‘I’m overwhelmed at the sheer amount of support that you guys have given us…Me and my family are eternally grateful to you guys… the love and support has really touched our hearts. I keep saying it by I honestly cannot thank anyone enough.’

He went on to explain that while he was extremely grateful for the donations, he was ‘in pain’ after finding out more news about Azaylia’s condition. ‘We found out today that one of the essential drugs that Azaylia needs to start to bring her leukaemia counts down and get her into remission is not being released by the pharmaceutical companies, so not only today have I been looking after Azaylia but going through heavy talks with the doctors and pharmaceutical companies themselves to try and get these essential drugs that Azaylia needs.’

‘On a positive note, I cannot wait to get up tomorrow and show you guys Azaylia properly,’ he continued. ‘She’s going through her fourth round of chemotherapy currently but I can’t wait for you guys to see how strong she is, how much she’s still fighting and how much she’s smiling and how happy she is. It’s incredible to see and I can’t wait to show you.’

Posting videos this morning, Azaylia was just as bubbly as Cain promised, jumping around in her hospital bed despite going through chemotherapy.

On the GoFundMe page, Cain and Vorajee laid out Azaylia’s battle so far with AML Leukaemia, explaining that she has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant prior to being told she the only option moving forward was CAR-T therapy and a haplo transplant. After relapsing following her bone marrow transplant, Azaylia was put on a fourth round of chemotherapy in order to bring the disease into remission.

‘After long discussions and a global outreach for treatment, our consultants along with consultants from around the world have come to the conclusion that the ONLY option to save Azaylia’s life is to fly to Singapore for CAR-T therapy plus a haplo transplant, for a minimum period of one year,’ the family explained. ‘Because of the aggressiveness of Azaylia’s disease, we don’t have time on our side and we may have to fly out within a matter of weeks. This treatment and associated expenses will be in excess of 1 million pounds with an initial deposit of £500,000 just to be accepted into the hospital and onto the program.’

What is CAR-T therapy?

According to the NHS website, ‘CAR-T is a highly complex and innovative new treatment. CAR-T is a type of immunotherapy which involves collecting and using the patients’ own immune cells to treat their condition.

‘CAR-T – chimeric antigen receptor T-cell – therapy is specifically developed for each individual patient and involves reprogramming the patient’s own immune system cells which are then used to target their cancer. It is a highly complex and potentially risky treatment but it has been shown in trials to cure some patients, even those with quite advanced cancers and where other available treatments have failed.’

You can find out more about it here.

What is a haplo transplant?

According to the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, ‘a haploidentical transplant (haplo) is a half matched stem cell transplant from a family member. Haplo donors can be parents, children, siblings, and sometimes cousins of the patient.’

Ashley Cain's fundraiser for Azaylia

You can find out more about Azaylia's journey and you can still donate to the family here.

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