Tearful Ashley Cain left ‘overwhelmed and lost for words’ after daughter’s fundraiser surpasses goal with £1.4M raised
EMOTIONAL Ashley Cain has admitted that he is “overwhelmed and lost for words” after his baby daughter’s fundraiser surpassed its goal in less than 24 hours.
So far, almost £1.4 million has been raised for Azaylia and her family to fly to Singapore and receive potentially life-saving treatment for her leukaemia, with the original target £1 million.
The 30-year-old star was visibly tearful as he took to his Instagram Story late tonight – admitting that he’d been so busy speaking with consultants all day that he had no idea the goal had been reached.
Filming from his little girl’s hospital room, Ashley told followers: “I am absolutely lost for words, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of support that you guys have given us.
“People who have shared the post, people who have donated – honestly, the amount of kindness that you have shown, the amount that you don’t even realise that you’ve helped us… It’s just incredible.
“Me and my family are eternally grateful to you guys.
“I’ve had the busiest day with consultants and doctors and nurses, and looking after Azaylia, I didn’t even know until tonight.
“Getting online to thousands of messages – I thought they were going to be saying that we were close, and the fact that we’ve hit it and we are way above it is just incredible.
“So listen guys, thank you so much.”
He added the caption: “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Ashley then filmed Azaylia as she slept in her hospital bed after a “long day” of treatment.
He held her hand as he added to his followers: “We’re eternally grateful for giving us the chance to try and save our beautiful daughter.”
Molly-Mae Hague, Maura Higgins, and Mrs Hinch were among the big-hearted donors to donate to Azaylia’s fundraiser to ensure it reached its huge target.
Fashion brand Pretty Little Thing’s founder Umar Kamani also showed staggering generosity by giving a huge £20,000.
The GoFundMe surpassed its goal in just hours after heartbroken Ashley explained that it was his daughter’s only chance of beating the illness.
Earlier this week, the star revealed that Azaylia had relapsed after an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant.
The devastated family now face a race against time to secure a spot in Singapore for year-long CAR-T therapy, plus a haplo transplant, which will give Azaylia the best chance at survival.
They need a £500,000 deposit just to be accepted into the hospital and onto the program, with Ashley desperate to raise a million as soon as possible to give Azaylia the best chance.
Over 101,000 people have donated in total having been left moved by Azaylia’s ongoing battle after she was diagnosed with leukaemia at eight weeks old.
Last week, Ashley fought back tears and admitted that he was “broken” after being told that the recent transplant did not work as hoped, adding that his “heart had been torn to pieces” on the “hardest day” of Azaylia’s fight so far.
Begging fans to give what they can, the former footballer shared photos taken for his daughter’s emergency passport as he wrote: “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! ❤️”
He added: “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 can help us reach out 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! ❤️”
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Ashley and his partner Safiyya expected Azaylia to get the all-clear in February after gruelling chemotherapy treatment, but were left “blindsided” when they were instead told that the cancer had returned.
She went on to have a bone marrow transplant, which doctors hoped would beat the disease.
Ashley wrote earlier this week: “Consultants made us aware that if her leukaemia returns after transplant there are only few options left.
“Over the last few weeks we have been exploring one of these options, by weaning her off her cyclosporine medication to give her donor cells a boost, in the hope that they take action in combating the leukaemia.”