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'We're going to take her home': Ashley Cain shares update on baby's cancer

Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee have exhausted their options to treat daughter Azalyia's leukemia.
mrashleycain / Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

In an emotional Instagram video, Ashley Cain gave a heartbreaking update about the health of his baby daughter, Azaylia.

In October 2020 Cain, who appeared on MTV's "The Challenge," announced that Azaylia, then 2 months old, had been diagnosed with "very rare and aggressive form" of leukemia.

In 2021, while the infant was supposed to complete treatment early in 2021, Cain and Azaylia's mother, Safiyya Vorajee, were instead told that the pediatric cancer had returned.

Now, Cain says that recent developments have left the family with no further treatment options. They will be bringing Azaylia home to give her "the best rest of her life that we can give her."

In the 10-minute video, Cain discussed the developments of the past week, which started when Azaylia had a bone marrow test and lumbar puncture. That information, along with results from blood tests, were sent to Singapore in the hopes that doctors there could develop a "therapy to save Azaylia's life." CT scans found that little Azaylia had two "very big tumors ... on her brain."

Cain said that after those discoveries, he and Vorajee were told that chemotherapy was no longer an option and that other treatments "would kill her." Consultants at the hospital said that they believed Azaylia only had "one, two days to live."

"We took Azaylia home ... It was scary," Cain said. "You walk into your little daughter's room and there's big oxygen tanks and stuff like that. It was horrible."

Cain said that first, Azaylia was on "high levels of pain relief" but after two nights, they "noticed that Azaylia wasn't really here properly." Cain and Vorajee decided to take the baby off the medication, which gave "her sharpness back."

"The next morning she was bright as a button," Cain said. "... We sat there and we thought 'This disease is not killing our daughter. We need to do everything we can do to save this little girl's life.'"

Cain said that the family returned to the hospital and talked with consultants about resuming treatment.

"I sat with a consultant and I said 'There's two kinds of people in this world, there's people that when confronted with a problem have the fight mechanism and there's people that have the flight mechanism ... I've always been a fighter, I will always be a fighter, and I said my daughter is a product of me, through nature, by nurture, so that means she will be a fighter too,'" Cain said. "'... She's fought the hard, tough fight the whole way through, and so I want to honor that and give her the best chance at surviving.'"

Cain said that he pushed for options for the four days they were in the hospital, including medication and radiotherapy options. However, an ultrasound scan taken on Wednesday found that Azaylia had tumors "in her stomach, her spleen, her lungs, (and) her kidneys," in addition the two tumors on her brain. Doctors also told the family that "the chemotherapy (was) not working," and the medical team in Singapore said that Azaylia's condition was so rare that they "can't create" the therapy for her leukemia.

"Her disease is that aggressive that nothing they are doing is working," Cain said. "...Azaylia's one in a trillion, she literally is, she's so special, she's one in a trillion, but unfortunately so is her disease."

Cain said that because of the setbacks, he and Vorajee are taking Azaylia home.

"We're going to try to make our baby as comfortable as possible and we're going to have as much fun as we can with her," Cain said. "When you hear all the other kids in the hospital they just want to be at home. And Azaylia hasn't got a voice yet, but I think if she had a voice she'd want to be at home, so we're going to take her home and we're going to enjoy stuff."

Cain said that he has been "numb to the core" during the past week, but plans to be "stronger than I've been" during Azaylia's last days. On Friday, he shared a photo of Azaylia's "last bath in hospital before we take her home where she belongs."

"I said to my partner 'Look, I'm getting up, I'm getting in the shower today, you're getting in the shower today. I'm going to have food, you're going to have food. We're going to clean up this room and we're going to do everything as we've been doing it,'" Cain said through tears. "We're going to have fun, we're going to smile, we're going to be strong. And we're going to go out with honor."

"She's had a tough, tough life," Cain continued. "From 8 weeks old she's been in hospital, having chemotherapy, operations, transplants, and I feel like for the last part of her life I just want to take her home, treat her like a baby, and give her the best rest of her life that we can give her."