Safiya Vorajee and Ashley Cain lost their daughter Azaylia in September and set up the Azaylia Foundation to help other youngsters suffering with cancer. One of those is young Hearts fan Rudi Abbot, to whom they gave £10,000 towards his treatment.
Saifya said she “sends all the love in the world” to the eight-year-old, who was diagnosed was a rare and aggressive grade four brain tumour, known as pineoblastoma, in August 2020.
Since Rudi was diagnosed he has undergone gruelling treatment, extensive and extremely complex brain surgeries and even had to travel to Germany for six weeks of proton therapy. He then went through four months of extremely intensive chemotherapy at Edinburgh Sick Kids.
His chemo finished in April 2021 and he has been gradually recovering from the horrendous side effects of the ten months of treatment, whereby Rudi experienced nausea, physical weakening and extreme exhaustion.
During February this year Rudi and his family received the news that more tumours had appeared on his MRI scan, however, this time the treatment available in the UK had reached its limit. Therefore, Rudis' only option now is to receive treatment through a trial phase in the US.
Now, the schoolboy is gearing up to travel to Seattle in the summer where he is set to receive life-saving immunotherapy treatment – but his family are desperately trying to raise £250,000 to help them travel.
Rudi’s dad Ben said: “When I heard it was the end of the road with the NHS, through no fault of their own, and the only option was palliative care, I just started grieving, but then to hear about a different country offering Rudi the treatment he needs, I went onto a completely different path of hope.”
Safiya, who experienced the same horrendous journey with her own daughter and cancer, said: “Knowing that you can have an extra day or an extra week with your child means more than absolutely anything. Every single day we really appreciated every sunrise and every sunset.”
About Rudi, she added: “You are so brave, you are doing so well and everyone loves you so, so much. Let’s go champ.”
Now that Rudi and his family have tackled the red tape involved with Rudi receiving the necessary medical insurance required to travel to the U.S as an international patient, the family plan to set off to Seattle in August to begin his phase one trial.
Ben’s mission now is to maintain his son’s strength to be able to travel to the US in order for him to undergo a two month treatment plan that is specifically engineered to Rudi’s T-cells.
The Azaylia Foundation plan to follow and support Rudi’s journey through their huge following on social media, in addition to helping the family in raising the remaining £150,000 needed to access Rudi’s treatment in Seattle.