Plea from Insp Dave Williams to help his poorly granddaughter
You may recall during November 2020, the National Police Federation (via our Force Federation Chair Simon Payne and of course your good self), you greatly assisted me in communicating a very personal and heartfelt plea to raise awareness of my granddaughter Azaylia's fight against Leukaemia (AML) (she was 8 weeks old at that time) and I was asking for more people to sign up as potential stem cell donors, with blood cancer charities Anthony Nolan Trust and DKMS.
This appeal went extremely well indeed, as not only was a donor found for our precious granddaughter, there were also over 80,000 new registrations made in just one weekend - more than any of the donor charities had received within the whole of the previous 12 months. As a family, we cannot thank everybody enough for supporting, sharing and registering as a donor to make this possible, we are forever grateful.
Going into Azaylia's transplant, Azaylia had to undergo her 3rd and most intense round of chemotherapy yet. Consultants sadly told Azaylia's parents that she was in the poor risk category for transplant success and the high risk category for fatal complications, and of course this was absolutely devastating news to receive.
However, Azaylia battled through and was fully engrafted within 5 weeks. She had shocked us all again with how quickly she went through that very difficult process. Not only did the engraftment process happen quickly, but the strength in her body meant that she suffered minimal side effects. The consultants did not 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 well. However, post the transplant, the consultants carried out a bone marrow test and they found out Azaylia still had traces of leukaemia. This was devastating because Azaylia's parents were told before transplant, if the leukaemia returned within a year there was nothing further they could do.
However, consultants thought Azaylia may have one other option, which was to wean her of her cyclosporine medication (an anti-transplant rejection drug) in order to give her donor cells a boost to fight off the remaining leukaemia 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 leukaemia had rapidly multiplied and she had gone into a full relapse. Further devastating news.
This weekend, Azaylia (now 7 months old) has commenced her 4th round of chemotherapy to try and bring her disease into remission. Azaylia's parents are absolutely not prepared to give up on their daughter continued fight for life, and after long discussions and a global outreach for treatment, Azaylia's consultants along with consultants from around the world have come to the conclusion that the ONLY option left to save Azaylia's life is to fly her to Singapore for CAR-T therapy plus a Haplo transplant, a treatment plan, which will last for a minimum period of 1 year.
Because of the aggressiveness of Azaylia's disease, time is not a luxury and is not on our side and Azaylia and her parents may have to fly out to Singapore within a matter of weeks. This compassionate treatment, along their accommodation and general living costs will be in excess of 1 million pounds, with an initial deposit of £500,000 required by the private hospital, just to be accepted onto the treatment program.
On behalf of my granddaughter Azaylia Cain and her parents (our daughter Safiyya and her partner Ashley), I am again seeking your help and assistance in sharing their latest plea for donations to help them reach at least £1,000,000 in order for Azaylia to stand any chance of surviving this terrible disease.
I would be so very grateful if you could share the below link as widely as possible across the National Police Federation and all forces.
Azaylia's journey can also be followed via her parents Instagram @mrashleycain and @miss_safiyya_
If there is any other information that you may require from me, please do not hesitate to make contact and I thank you in advance.
Thanks and regards
Nuneaton and Bedworth Safer Neighbourhoods
Force Champion for Prevent Strategy
Internal tel: 3043
Work mobile tel: 07870 168874