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Oct 20, 2015

Ashley Needs Your Prayers and Support


Imagine that moment when you’re told that your child, your pride and joy…your beautiful baby has cancer. There’s absolutely no treatment available in Belize, and treatment overseas is prohibitively expensive. The cancer is so aggressive and lethal that you may lose your child. The treatment is also so aggressive that you may lose your child. But what can you do? That is the story of young Kayla Campbell and her daughter Ashley, who turned five last week. On her birthday Kayla found out that a last, intensive round of treatment did not work, and Ashley’s cancer is not in remission. Now, against all odds, they are praying for a miracle. Mike Rudon has the story.


Kara Almendarez, Saving Ashley

“Ashley has a condition called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. It’s an aggressive form of cancer…it’s actually the most common in kids. She was diagnosed last September. In July she went into remission and in August it was back. In August she started a very aggressive treatment. That first twenty-eight days of treatment failed and now she started another one.”


Mike Rudon, Reporting

That second round of treatment also failed. Doctors have found a bone marrow match, but can do nothing because the cancer is not in remission. Ashley remains upbeat and strong and her mother and grandmother have been forced to be the same.


Maxine Campbell, Ashley’s Grandmother

“It’s hard knowing that I can’t be there for her, knowing that she’s going through this ordeal. As a mother it hurts me to know my child is over there all by herself and I know she needs help, because where she is there is no family member there to help. It hurts me a lot knowing that I can’t be there physically but mentally I’m there because every day we talk and I have to encourage here because knowing that she is there all alone, she needs encouragement so that she doesn’t show Ashley the emotional time. She has to be strong and she can’t show her emotion so she doesn’t break down Ashley.”


Maxine Campbell

It’s been a tough road for the family. At one point Kayla and Ashley were homeless, far away from loved ones rooting for them in Belize.


Maxine Campbell

“She needs me. She does need me. She’s in Florida and we don’t have any family members there. It hurts me to know I can’t be there because here if I need a teaspoon of sugar I can go ask my sister to please give me a teaspoon of sugar but over there Kayla can’t ask for help from no one, no one…”


Kara Almendarez

Kara Almendarez

“It’s really hard because like everything else that is sickness care is really expensive. There are groups over there that do help them but those groups also need to be financed, and that finance comes from the same things we are trying to do which is donations, raising funds, so as much as it covers it does not cover Ashley being able to live in an apartment where it’s just her and her mother. At one point Kayla was without a home and had to live in a shelter along with other people which is very unsafe for Ashley because she is still undergoing treatment and the more people you’re around the more risk you introduce when it comes to infection.”


A group of friends have rallied together to provide support from Belize under the banner Saving Ashley.


Kara Almendarez

“Belize is still not equipped to diagnose yet, so it would happen maybe in Guatemala, maybe in Merida. In Ashley’s case it’s happening in Florida. So for us the diagnoses don’t happen here in Belize. The options are that we realize something is wrong, we send the child to get tested, it comes back positive and then treatment has to happen over there which is why we see so many kids and other people asking for donations because it is so expensive and we can’t do it at home.”


Saving Ashley will be holding a fund-raising event on November seventh because that beautiful little girl, so full of life, has touched the hearts of so many.


Kara Almendarez

“We have different boutiques coming out and the idea is to have a big fashion show using local artists for entertainment. And so what we need to do really is sell tickets for that, and we’re also having a raffle for that day. We’re planning to auction people if anybody wants to be auctioned. So really it’s ticket sales right now. We need to sell tickets for the show, tickets for the raffle…any other donations that people can give us, whether it’s time, if you can come out and help us to get ready, or you have any ideas that you think can help us…of course money donations are always welcome, but really anything – prayers for Ashley, anything that you can give us would be amazing.”


Maxine Campbell

“Sickness is for everybody and we all need the help and the support whether in prayers or financially. We do need the prayers, and I would really appreciate it if everybody who is hearing this plea if they could assist us in prayers or whatever they could do or give.”


Kara Almendarez

“Sadly sometimes the child is not able to get as much treatment or at least sometimes it’s delayed to the point where by the time some funds are raised the cancer is advanced and sometimes the worst happens, and that’s the truth.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Ashley Needs Your Prayers and Support”

  1. Belizean Empress says:

    i cannot say im feeling the pain of the young mother , but i can honestly say that i know what the family are going through. as i have lost both my mother and brother to Breast caner and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia….. its not an easy road we have done our best as family…..and because and since then i have always tell myself and family that whenever things like this happens to a young child, i will try my best to donate in whatever fundraising drives are planned…. i want to help plz feel to leave a response to this comment along with a number and email address so i can give you a call or and message….. Thanks……

    Tears in my eyes and pain in my heart
    its like a replay of my past struggles
    Praying for Ashely and her family

  2. Marie says:

    Ashley we will definitely be praying for you, and your family; knowing God’s healing hand will ease your pain. Even though you are sick, your smile lights up. God bless you my child.

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