Our beautiful daughter Azaylia Diamond Cain was just eight weeks old when we got the heartbreaking news that she had been diagnosed with AML Leukaemia. On diagnosis Azaylia had a frighteningly high leukemia count plus tumours in her spleen, stomach, lungs and kidneys which put her in critical condition and resulted in her being put into intensive care. The doctors warned us that there was a high probability that she wouldn’t survive past the first round of chemotherapy due to the aggressiveness and rareness of her disease combined with her age. Yet she surprised them and us all with her strength and courage by pulling through not only 1, but 2 rounds of chemotherapy with very little side effects.
From that moment on we had what seemed impossible challenge after impossible challenge to overcome, but we stayed positive, fought hard and did it every time - as a family and with the incredible support around us. We then hard more terrible news, that chemotherapy wouldn’t be enough to cure Azaylia’s disease. Consultants told us Azaylia was in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life and we were tasked with finding a bone marrow donor urgently. Due to Azaylia’s dual heritage, we were told we had very little chance of finding one in time. After a social media campaign to raise awareness for the importance of registering as a donor, we were absolutely thrilled to find one. Not only had we found a donor for our precious baby but we also delivered over 80,000 new registrations in just one weekend - more than any of the donor charities had received in the past 12 months! We cannot thank everybody enough for supporting, sharing and registering as a donor to make this possible, we are forever grateful. These registrations have continued in Azaylia’s name and we are so happy to be able to help fellow children, families and members of the community we find ourselves a part of.
Going into Azaylia’s transplant, Azaylia had to undergo her 3rd and most intense round of chemotherapy yet. Consultants sadly told us that Azaylia was in the poor risk category for transplant success and the high risk category for fatal complications, which as parents was absolutely devastating to hear. However, Azaylia battled through and was fully engrafted within 5 weeks. She had shocked us all again with how quickly she had got through this process. Not only did the engraftment process happen quick, but the strength in her body meant that she suffered minimal side effects. They didn’t expect her to make it past the first round of chemotherapy because of the aggressiveness of her disease, her age and how intense the process is. But 3 rounds of chemotherapy and a full bone marrow transplant later, she is still fighting, growing strong and developing phenomenally well. She radiates a sheer love for life and battles through every stage with the most endearing smile on her face and strength in her heart.
Post transplant, we did a bone marrow test and we found out she still had traces of leukemia. This was devastating because we were told before transplant, if the leukemia returned within a year there was nothing they could do. However, consultants thought we still may have one option which was to wean her off her cyclosporine medication in order to give her donor cells a boost to fight off the remaining leukemia in her body. After a month of doing this and a repeated bone marrow test a few days ago, we found out that Azaylia’s leukemia had rapidly multiplied and she had gone into a full relapse. Overnight we packed Azaylia’s things and returned to hospital for urgent treatment. She is currently undergoing her 4th round of chemotherapy to try and bring her 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 1 year. 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.
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! ❤️ Azaylia has changed our lives, she has made our lives and she deserves the chance to live her own life. She is beautiful, she is strong, she is courageous and she glows with hope and happiness. Our hearts are intertwined and with one beat of her heart, our hearts beat along together. Please help our hearts continue to beat as one! ❤️
We are on our knees asking for help to get us to Singapore. Even the smallest of donations could help us reach our goal. Please help us to save our beautiful daughter Azaylia, she has inspired not only us as her parents but so many other people around the world. If you have been following our journey you can see that she shows us all everyday how much she loves life and wants to be here!
This is our first and only child and we’ve spent the first 7 months of parenthood in hospital under COVID restrictions fighting a battle that no parent should ever have to face. Please give us a chance to continue fighting so this journey wasn’t all for nothing and our daughter can have the chance of life that she’s been fighting so hard for!
We will be donating any extra money to other children and their families in the same situation as us - we pledged to give back to this community from the moment we were thrust into it and that is something we will always honour.
Thank you all for your energy, love, support and prayers - it lifts us and carries us through this terrifying journey.
You can continue to follow our story on instagram at @mrashleycain and @miss_safiyya_
All press enquiries to rachel @ cowshedsocial . com
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- Lesley Harder
- Kathryn Bell
- Christina Pateman
Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom