How Ashley Cain's daughter Azaylia's brave fight saw global landmark tributes, millions raised and celebrity supporters

SHE only lived to be eight months old, but Azaylia Diamond Cain's fighting spirit will forever be remembered.

Her brave battle with an aggressive form of leukaemia touched millions across the world, as her parents Ashley Cain and Safiyya Vorajee shared their heartbreaking journey.

There were global landmark tributes, millions raised by generous fans and celebrity supporters who backed the family throughout.

Niagara Falls, the Blackpool Tower and Toronto’s CN Tower all turned orange for Azaylia as a sign of strength and unity in the family's darkest hours.

"Let's go champ" became a phrase used by all to encourage Azaylia's courageous fight to carry on.

But sadly, Azaylia's parents today revealed she had passed away, with Ashley writing in a heartbreaking social media post: "Rest in paradise princess. I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven."


Safiyya added: "You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul, RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart."

Azaylia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia eight weeks after she was born last August.

Since then, Ashley, who has appeared on MTV’s Ex On The Beach, and Saffiya, 23, devoted themselves to filling the precious time they had left with their only child with love and happiness.


And despite her tragic death, Azaylia proved the impact her short life had on the world.

Changing the lives of others suffering from this devastating disease will be her legacy after thousands of supporters raised more than £1.5million in an attempt to fund life-saving treatment earlier this year.

Ashley and Saffiya have said the cash will now go to helping other children and their families in a similar situation.


At the height of their desperate search for a cure, the couple made a desperate plea to find bone marrow donors.

Because of Azaylia’s mixed heritage, Ashley and Saffiya were told there was less likelihood of finding a bone marrow match. So they turned to social media and called for people to register as donors.

Not only did they find a match for Azaylia, but more than 80,000 people signed up to the register in one weekend — more than donor charities had received in a year.

Her battle also inspired celebrities to clap on their doorsteps, just like the public did during the first lockdown for our NHS heroes.

Stars including Loose Women’s Stacey Solomon and ex-footballer Peter Crouch and wife Abbey Clancy joined the family’s call for a “memory they’d never forget” with a nationwide clap.

Even Hollywood A-listers like actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have been touched by Azaylia's story. He sent a personal video message in which he said: “You tell that little lion, let’s go champ and stay strong.”

Her parents, reality star and former Coventry City player Ashley Cain, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, have been overwhelmed by the response.

"I want to tell you I'm so sorry about your beautiful daughter Azaylia," the movie star said in a video message.

"You tell that little lion that I said, 'let's go champ and to stay strong'.

"And brother I'm so sorry to hear this news but I don't have to tell you that your daughter's strength is what strengthens you.

"She's already had this incredible impact on the world already, stay strong brother, my heart breaks for you."



The family have not shied away from showing every aspect of Azaylia’s journey, from a picture of a morning’s medication-filled syringes to detailing a lumbar puncture and four-hour blood transfusion.

It is incredible little Azaylia survived as long as she did. Doctors warned there was a “high probability” she would not survive her first round of chemotherapy soon after diagnosis.

But the brave tot proved them wrong, undergoing three rounds of chemo before having a bone marrow transplant.

Sadly, traces of leukaemia remained after the transplant, and Azaylia relapsed. In March, she had another round of chemo and supporters raised more than £1million in just 16 hours for life-saving treatment in Singapore.

The family hoped she could undergo revolutionary CAR-T therapy, which reprogrammes the body’s cells to target cancers.

But, devastatingly, doctors in the UK discovered the disease has caused tumours in her spleen, liver, lungs, kidneys and brain, which means her condition cannot be treated. More than 116,000 people donated to her fundraising campaign.

Azaylia has spent the past few weeks at home – with a few sudden dashes into hospital.

Ashley has taken joy from the little milestones most parents take for granted, like walking her down their street in her pushchair for the first time.

 

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