Reality star Ashley Cain 'proud' as 80,000 register for stem cell donation after appeal to save his daughter

  • Video report by ITV News Midlands Reporter Ben Chapman

Ashley Cain is "proud" 80,000 people have registered to become stem cell donors after he appealed for the public's help during his daughter's leukaemia struggle.

His daughter, Azaylia, was just eight-weeks-old when they were told she would need a bone marrow transplant, after being diagnosed with one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of leukaemia.

The former Ex On The Beach star, described that day to ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman, saying: "To say it was the toughest and most emotional day of our life would be an understatement."

Her mum, Safiyya Vorajee, told ITV News: "I think because she was so small that was the most heart-wrenching thing about it to think is she going to be strong enough to pull through."

Azaylia was just eight-weeks-old when her parents told she would need a bone marrow transplant Credit: Handout

Azaylia has already spent 10 weeks in hospital having chemotherapy and like thousands of families it's been harder because of Covid-19 rules - which only allows one parent to visit at a time.

But it has allowed Ashley as a reality TV star to appeal to his hundreds of thousands of followers to join the stem cell donor register.

He told ITV News: "We got told that it would be harder to find Azaylia a donor because of her dual heritage."

"We come up with a great plan that will inject an influx of donors, that would not only help Azaylia potentially, but would help out thousands and thousands of others," he added.

The response to his appeal has been the biggest that charities have ever seen.

"We normally receive 100 application to join the stem cell register every day and in response to Ashley's appeal for his daughter Azaylia, we received 42,000 applications in 48 hours," one charity said.

In the weeks since more than 80,000 people have registered as potential stem cell donors.

Ashley Cain, Safiyya Vorajee, and daughter Azaylia Diamond. Credit: Handout

Ashley said: "We're proud of our daughter, we're proud of each other and we're proud of everybody that's come forward and stood to be a donor."

When asked what his message to others would be, he said: "Get on the donor list and help potentially save thousands of lives."

The family now faces an anxious new year waiting for a match for Azaylia but in trying to help her, they've given hope to many more families.