Her story forced the nation to raise 1.5 1.5 million for a specialist in Singapore in less than 24 hours and saw thousands of people around the world follow their life’s struggle.
Then, since Azelia Kane died tragically from her parents at the age of just eight months from severe myeloid leukemia, the legacy she left behind is nothing short of impressive.
In her only newspaper interview since losing her daughter, Ashley Kane and her partner Safia Waraji say there is a battle to move forward every day.
But he has vowed to continue fighting in his name to help other children and their families who are going through the same ordeal.
To honor her memory, Ashley and Safia today launched the Azelia Foundation, which will educate other parents about the symptoms of the disease, among its many goals.
Ashley, 30 – a former Coventry City winger and contestant on the MTV reality show X on the Beach – says: “It will be a very painful and terrifying journey for many.
“We want to honor Azelia’s legacy to help others. It’s about children and their families going through the worst time of their lives.
“These cancers are rare because no one is talking about them and raising awareness. There is a new purpose in our lives.
“Helping other children with the name Azelia is more important to us than the air in our lungs.”
Azaylia was just eight weeks old when she was diagnosed with AML last October. At first she made good progress, but although her parents managed to raise enough money for her to go to Singapore for treatment, she became very ill to go.
To raise awareness of Azelia’s illness, her condition became worldwide news, highlighting several major landmarks – including the Black Pool Tower, and the CN Tower and Niagara Falls in Canada.
And A-list stars from around the world contacted, including wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who told the couple that his heart was broken for them.
Ashley and Safia chose to take part in every step of their journey, including the days until Azelia’s death.
She died peacefully with her parents at her home in Newton, Warwickshire, in April.
His resting place, near his house, is now like another house.
Safia, 34, says: “I call it my garden, I can’t call it anything else. I can’t call it another word.
“Going to his garden, I want him to see that we are still there.
“We have her toys and I light her candles every night. Ashley and I both buy fresh flowers every week to make sure it always looks good.
“Sometimes when I’m in trouble and I have a bad day, I go downstairs to sit with him because I get his strength.
“Sometimes I go down five times a day, four hours at a time. I know his body is there. It gives me peace of mind.”
Shockingly, when Azelia was sick for the first time, doctors sent her home three times before the couple was told they had AML.
Now they want to make sure all parents know the symptoms they need to look out for, as well as raise money for further research by seeing their children treated with adult medications. Want.
Ashley recalls: “I was told I couldn’t change my daughter’s nappy without gloves, because the chemo could come out of her urine and feces.
“If I can’t touch that weaker version, how can an eight-week-old baby be pumped through his veins into his body, into his limbs? That’s crazy.”
Safia added: “Children cannot eat adult food but they are being given adult chemotherapy. It hurts to know that they are using such toxic chemicals on your child.
“Imagine how a child will feel when an adult is struggling.”
In addition to raising awareness and funding for treatment, Ashley and Safia say they hope the money will help other families as they struggle.
Azelia spent most of her short life at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with Ashley and Safia staying at the next hotel to stay with her.
The situation was financially difficult but they overcame it and now want to help parents in similar situations.
“We want to help these children and their families. We know others will not be as lucky in our network as we are, and these children need financial support,” says Ashley.
“We have not personally taken a penny of this money. Instead, we will use others to help the less fortunate and their children.”
The pain that the couple endured is imprinted on their faces, but Ashley says it is Azelia’s strength that keeps them going.
He continues: “I thought I had to be positive for my daughter, but she was the one who got us through it.
“Azelia was the one who received more than 150,000 donors on the (stem cell) register, which could help save the lives of thousands of children.
“Azelia was the one who impressed the nation going through the cove, who raised 1.5 1.5 million in GoFundMe, which will save thousands if not hundreds of children across the country.
“If he’s not a brave person, I don’t know what he is.
“We say we will never achieve in our lives what Azelia achieved in eight months.
“Safia and I have bad days but we lift each other. It has strengthened us and brought us closer together, because we still have a part of Azelia with us.
The couple loves to share their most precious memories of their daughter, affectionately known as Lakal Sher, and Safia says: “When the hospital told us that Azelia would not make any milestones, and then she What, these are my favorite memories.
“She was blowing them all out of the water. She could sit, she could eat, she made every milestone and she did it all by grace.
“I also liked bathing times. I would dance my crazy mummy and she would look at me. We would dance on Spice Girls. She loved it.”
Ashley added: “I’ll stay in the hospital all night and wake up in the morning, look and she’ll look at me there.
“As soon as I opened my eyes she would greet me with the biggest smile, and that was enough to give me strength all day.
“We danced in all our troubles. We tried to make all the sad moments happy.
“We learned how to stand, and he said, ‘Grandpa’ – the one who made my life. My purpose in life has been fulfilled.”
“It’s a special moment. It made me the living person.
Ashley and Safia, who started dating in 2020, have big plans for the Azelia Foundation, but for now, they want to reach out to others who have endured.
“You can’t control your child’s illness, but you can control the energy around you,” says Ashley.
“Spend your time and energy and make the most of every second.
“Give your child confidence, encouragement and hope – it will keep them strong.”
How did his fight win the heart of the world?
November 2020.More than 1.5 million people joined the bone marrow register after parents Ashley and Safia applied for donors on Sun Online.
March 2021: Ashley raised 1.5 1.5 million in 24 hours with GoFundMe to send Azelia to Singapore for treatment. Sadly, it has been revealed that he is too ill to travel soon.
April 11Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson sent an emotional message to Ashley and Safia after hearing their story.
April 13: Thousands clap for Azelia in the UK and around the world.
April 16-18 Signs from around the world, including Blackpool Tower, CN Tower and Niagara Falls, illuminate the orange for Azelia to raise awareness about her disease, acute myeloid leukemia.