When Ayala’s stomach started to swell she took to wearing baggy tops and dieting to hide it. It was only when Ayala walked past her mum in a fitted top that her mum realised something wasn’t right and told Ayala that she needed to go to the doctors.
A week before Ayala’s doctor’s appointment, she was out with her friends when her mum got a call to come and get her because she was in a lot of pain. They drove straight to the doctors who saw her within the hour and sent them to A&E. Ayala was admitted overnight and given an ultrasound. The results of the ultrasound revealed that Ayala had a very large ovarian cyst.
Ayala had to undergo surgery to remove her ovary and fallopian tube so that the cyst could be sent off for diagnosis; the cyst weighed 17 pounds and was 30cm long. The results revealed that the cyst was a very rare form of ovarian cancer and Ayala was told that she would need to have chemotherapy.
Ayala underwent six courses of chemotherapy and lost her hair.
We’ve got through the whole experience with humour. Ayala has been absolutely amazing and just carried on. She’s been working really hard at college and has continued to achieve distinctions in her coursework.
– Sharon, Ayala’s mum
On the last day of Ayala’s treatment her Clic Sargent nurse referred her to Starlight for a wish. Before her diagnosis, Ayala had been planning to join the RAF in the summer. Unfortunately, due to her treatment, she can’t sign up for another five years so she wanted to use her Starlight Wish to do something exciting and chose to do a skydive!
Starlight arranged for Ayala to do a tandem skydive at Old Sarum Airfield where she was given safety training and suited up. Then it was time for Ayala to get in the plane…
Once the plane had reached 15,000ft, the highest skydive height in the UK, it was time for Ayala to jump! She freefell for 60 seconds which she described as ‘exhilarating’ before the parachute opened. When she landed, she was beaming from ear to ear!
It was the best weekend of my life!