Reality TV personality Ashley Cain has shared a heartbreaking tribute to his daughter.
Azaylia, who was eight months old, died on April 24 after suffering from an aggressive form of leukaemia.
The former footballer and Ex On The Beach star said his heart was “shattered” but promised to ensure her name “lived on”.
‘My heart is shattered’
Since Cain’s daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia, he and his partner Safiyya, have been documenting Azaylia’s journey on Instagram.
Sharing a photo of himself holding his daughter’s hand on April 26, Cain wrote: “My heart is shattered. You gave my life purpose, my face a smile, filled my heart with love and my soul with pride.
“I can’t put into words my sadness and pain, there aren’t words to describe it. I love you with every ounce of my body and I miss you so much already.
“You made me a better man. You made me the person I’ve always wanted to be. You’ve taught me more in your 8 months than I’ve learned my whole life. I don’t know why you’ve been taken away from me and my heart aches in your absence.
“But I promise you that your name with live on. I will carry your name across every ocean, along every road, to the top of every mountain and across the whole globe.
“Your name will live, your legacy will be remembered and I will seek peace in living as your vessel to continue inspiring, giving strength, spreading joy and saving lives in your name, with your spirit, as your father until we meet again.”
Cain ended his post by sharing lyrics from the song I Wan’na Be like You from Disney’s The Jungle Book.
Who is Ashley Cain?
Cain is a former footballer who played for Coventry City and has been on loan to Luton Town and Oxford United.
He might be better known among reality TV fans after he starred in three seasons of MTV’s Ex On The Beach.
What condition did Azalyia have?
Azalyia was diagnosed with leukaemia at just eight weeks old and has been through several rounds of chemotherapy and spent much of her life in hospital.
After a successful bone marrow transplant, her leukaemia had rapidly multiplied and she had gone into a full relapse.
Cain said he had spent the first seven months of fatherhood under Covid-19 restrictions in hospital as his daughter fought the cancer.
But doctors told the couple that chemotherapy would not be enough to cure her.
In November, the couple made a plea for people to register as stem cell donors after being told their daughter required a transplant, which led to 41,000 people applying within 48 hours.
How much did Ashley’s fundraiser for Azaylia make?
The reality TV personality and Azaylia’s mother Safiyya Vorajee had been raising money for her to get specialist cancer treatment in Singapore.
Cain set up a fundraising page for his daughter on March 27, which reached its £1 million target in 16 hours – and saw donations of more than £1,500,000.
He set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page, telling donors he needed to raise more than £1 million to cover the costs of treatment and accommodation in Singapore, after doctors told him and his partner Safiyya that it was the only option they had to save their daughter’s life.
He said an initial deposit of £500,000 was needed to be accepted into the hospital and on to the programme.
But the family could no longer fly to Singapore for treatment after discovering Azaylia had tumours on her brain.
Among the 74,000-plus people to donate were reality TV stars Molly-Mae Hague and Maura Higgins, as well as footballers Barry Bannan, Harrison Reed and Robert Snodgrass.
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