Ashley Cain raises £30,000 for little boy with same cancer that killed baby Azaylia

Baby Azaylia died when she was just eight months old – now her reality TV star and former footballer dad Ashley Cain is raising money to help spare another family from the same heartbreak

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Ashley Cain runs a marathon to raise money for young boy

Former footballer Ashley Cain has raised £30,000 to help fund treatment for a little boy with the same brain cancer that killed his eight month old daughter Azaylia.

The ex-Coventry Sphinx winger was left heartbroken with girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee when they lost their baby girl to a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia last year.

Since then 31-year-old Cain has already donated £10,000 to a GoFundMe set up for eight year old Alexander who was diagnosed with the same cancer just before Christmas 2020.

After his devastated mum Rhonda Josephs reached out to Azaylia’s family, the Ex On The Beach star decided to run a marathon on Christmas Day, in a bid to help fund immunotherapy treatment for Alexander in Germany which could save his life.

The selfless dad, desperate to ensure no one else suffers the grief he has experienced, has raised £32,900 with his 26-mile effort, which will make up half of what Alexander’s family need to get him the pioneering drugs.

Posting on Instagram on Boxing Day, Ashley wrote: “Thank you to the amazing effort from everyone yesterday.

“From my cousin and my brother who ran by my side, my friends and family who joined for parts on the way, the people shouting support from their doors, car windows and the sides of the road to the sheer generosity of everyone who donated to help @brain.tumour.warrior and his family.

Ashley completed the marathon with the help of his brother and cousin

He ran 26 miles around Nuneaton and Hinckley

“Our pride is strong and we will keep fighting and roaring for these children.

“Azaylia you will always be the beauty to my beast.

“You not only made my life the best it could be for those 8 months, but you are making me the best me I can be for the rest of my life.

“I am forever grateful to you for everything you have taught me and to god who chose me to be your father.”

Proud dad Ashley holds baby Azaylia in hospital

In September 2020, Alexander’s mum checked on him at bedtime to discover he was having a massive seizure in his room.

After months of painstaking tests, the family were given the crushing news that he had a rapidly growing, aggressive brain tumour.

In the space of six months he underwent two major brain surgeries to remove the tumour which had returned following the first operation.

Now his family are desperately fundraising £500,000 to take him for immunotherapy treatment in Germany which will help him fight the disease by teaching his immune system to fight cancer cells.

Mum Rhonda said major advances in immunotherapy treatment are being made in the US, Germany and Japan, but not yet in the UK or on the NHS, making the mission to save Alexander extremely costly.

Alexander is hoping to undergo pioneering and private treatments to save his life

The family have also started Alexander on and pioneering drug, Dabrafenib, a cancer blocker which is not yet available to children on the NHS.

Writing on his GoFundMe page, Rhonda said: “We are terrified of what the future might hold but we are full of hope.

“Alexander is a fighter! His bravery and resilience throughout has been amazing and our love for him keeps us all going.

“We want to give Alexander every chance to live so we have looked into all possible treatments all over the world.”

Alexander’s story is one that resonates with Ashley Cain after his daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia when doctors discovered two large tumours on her brain at two months old.

The youngster, who was born in August 2020 lost her battle with the disease eight months later and her parents have since set up The Azaylia Foundation in her memory.

Her parents have openly spoke about their grief on social media, continuing to post about how the loss of their first baby together has plunged them into battles with depression and anxiety.

Posting a clip from an emotional interview on his Instagram, Ashley broke down as he recalled how his daughter had made everyone’s lives “brighter”.

He said: “Being in hospital and finding out that your daughter has a terrible illness like cancer is enough to bring any parent down to their knees.

“We decided very early on when she was in hospital that it was no longer about us, it was about Azaylia.”

Ashley and Safiyya have since set up The Azaylia Foundation

But he continued through tears: “She was the one who gave us our strength.

“She was the one who ended up making us smile.

“She was the one who helped us to show up to the hospital everyday and go through that time.

“She helped us be better people, to inspire other parents going through that situation and helped us inspire other people around the world going through you can stand up and fight and get through it.

“She made everybody around her a better person and their lives a little bit brighter.”

To donate to Ashley’s Christmas marathon for Alexander, click here

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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