Ashley Cain recalls late baby Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed

·Contributor
·3 min read

Watch: Ashley Cain vows to dedicate his life to helping save other children with cancer

Ashley Cain has revealed how his late baby daughter Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he vowed to dedicate his life to helping other children.

The former footballer and star of Ex On The Beach and his partner Safiyya Vorajee have launched The Azaylia Foundation in memory of their baby daughter who died in April aged just eight-months-old after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Cain, 30, told Christine Lampard on Lorraine how Azaylia's earlier symptoms of her stomach getting hard, vomiting, bruising and diarrhoea were hard to spot in a newborn baby.

Read more: Ashley Cain shares heartbreaking speech from daughter’s funeral

 He said: "They were symptoms that as a first time parent you would think you'd find in a baby. There was nothing at that point, really, to highlight the severity of what it actually was. There wasn’t really a telltale sign at the time that it was leukaemia.”

<p>Ashley Cain recalls Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he launches foundation in late daughter's memory to help save other children from leukaemia. </p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Ashley Cain recalls Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he launches foundation in her memory. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

Azaylia was diagnosed at eight-weeks-old.

Vorajee said: "I really want to bring so much education to Azaylia’s Foundation. I feel like parents and guardians really need to be aware of the signs and the symptoms and I really want to bring such beautiful, magical moments to children that are in such dark places.

"I want to spread so much beautiful, magical light, bring smiles to their faces, the same as we did with Azaylia every single day."

Cain said after losing their daughter the couple were determined to focus their energy on helping those who still had a chance at life.

He said: "It's all about Azaylia. When you've got kids, no matter what is going on, they come first and nothing's changed now. We want to continue Azaylia's incredible legacy. We want to use the rest of our lives to help these children.

<p>Ashley Cain recalls Azaylia's cancer symptoms were almost missed as he launches foundation in late daughter's memory to help save other children from leukaemia. </p>
<p>Credit: Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub</p>
Ashley Cain and partner Safiyya Vorajee want to dedicate their lives to helping children with cancer. (Lorraine / ITV / ITV Hub)

"That's the important part of life now for us. Using the rest of it to make a difference, because our beautiful daughter didn't get a chance at health, and at life. And because we had that chance we want to use if tor the right reason."

The couple had raised more than £1.5 million to take Azaylia to Singapore for life-saving treatment, but she became too unwell to travel. Azaylia also sparked a huge boost to the Stem Cell Register after Cain brought attention to her stem cell transplant treatment.

Cain said "We are so grateful to the public. We like to call them our second family now. They have been such a fundamental part in this journey - not just raising the money but the daily support. We see how cynical social media can be, but during this journey we saw just how beautiful the world can be and the people that are in it."

Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee during the funeral procession for Azaylia Cain in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets for the funeral of the eight-month-old, who was the daughter of former Coventry City footballer and Ex On The Beach star Mr Cain. Picture date: Friday May 21, 2021.
Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee lost their baby daughter Azaylia to a rare form of cancer in April, aged just eight-months-old. (PA)

Now they are using the funds to set up the Azaylia Foundation to help other families and children in the fight against cancer.

Read more: Ashley Cain's girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee on emotional final days with baby

Cain said: "It's just a reflection of how strong, how powerful and how amazing our beautiful daughter was. She didn't just affect us. We thought we had to be strong for her on the journey, we thought we had to give her energy, It turned out it was her that was giving it to us every single day. She was the one giving it to people all over the world. The money that was raised by the amazing people out there is a reflection of how strong Azaylia is.

"We want to bring that community together to really make a difference in this world."

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