Ashley Cain from MTV’s “The Challenge: War of the Worlds” has shared a heartbreaking update about his 6-month-old daughter, Azaylia, who was diagnosed with leukemia in October.
In an emotional Instagram on Tuesday, Cain revealed that just 10 minutes before Azaylia was due to ring a bell signifying the end of her treatments, he and his girlfriend, Safiyya Vorajee, were told that the pediatric cancer had returned.
“We crumbled and cancelled the celebration as we felt broken and numb to the core,” Cain, a former professional soccer player, wrote. But he and Vorajee quickly realized “the show must go on” for their little girl, who has spent more than 135 days fighting for her life at the hospital.
“She has battled against the odds, she has overcome every obstacle in her path and she has done it all with remarkable spirit and the biggest smile on her face,” Cain explained.
Azaylia got her special moment.
As doctors and nurses line a hospital hallway cheering, Azaylia is shown in her dad’s arms ringing the bell.
Azaylia, who was born last August, is battling acute myeloid leukemia. The disease, also known as AML, is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal white cells, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Myeloid leukemia is the second most common pediatric blood cancer, but it’s still relatively rare. In the United States, there are roughly 500 children a year between the ages of 0 and 14 that are diagnosed with AML, according to Dr. Richard Aplenc, a physician-scientist within the Division of Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Last month, the infant underwent a stem cell transplant, which Cain described as “the biggest day of his life.”