Who is Ashley Cain and who is his partner? Their daughter Azaylia's leukemia battle explained

Ashley Cain
(Image credit: Getty)

Footballer and reality TV star Ashley Cain and partner Safiyya Vorajee are in the hearts of people around the world after news their daughter Azaylia lost her fight with Leukemia, aged eight months.

Ashley Cain and his partner Safiyya Vorajee have raised awareness for a rare form of Leukemia after their beloved daughter Azaylia lost her fight with the disease.

Ashley, 30, announced the news that his daughter had died to his 1.8 million Instagram followers and has since reflected on his short time as a father with a final snap of his beloved baby girl. His heartbreaking post reads, '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.'

He continued, '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.'

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He added, 'You saved my life, you really did. With my second chance, I make a promise to you that I will make yours live on in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers. I am blessed, I am honoured and I am privileged to be your father. I would go through all of the pain again and again. Because what you gave me in those 8 months will live with me for eternity.'

The couple had used Azaylia's story to raise more than £1.5m earlier this year via GoFundMe which was going to help fund specialist treatment in Singapore. But just last month Azaylia became too ill to have the life-saving treatment.

And in posts uploaded yesterday announcing her death at the weekend, Ashley and Safiyya, who know what life is like when your child has cancer, both shared pictures of them cuddling their daughter.

Who is Ashley Cain?

As a former professional footballer, Ashley mainly played for Coventry City. He was on loan to Luton, Oxford United and Mansfield Town where he played on the wing but was forced to retire from football after he injured the right side of his Achilles tendon.

In his Reality TV days, Ashley starred in the first-ever episode of MTV's Ex on the Beach which aired in 2014, before reappearing in 2015 and 2016 as an ex. He also appeared on the US TV show The Challenge - a reality competition show on MTV that is spun off from two of the network's reality shows, The Real World and Road Rules.

Ashley Cain, former footballer,

(Image credit: Alamy)

Also a model, Ashley has worked with various brands including Kalibre Clothing and The Couture Club.

In November he and Safiyya urged people to register as stem cell donors after being told their daughter needed a transplant and a staggering 41,000 people registered within 48 hours.

Throughout his daughter's battle with the rare disease he refused to give up hope, with the public clapping on the doorstep in honour of his baby girl, but yesterday he announced the news that his baby girl had died, he uploaded a photo of himself cuddling Azaylia, and captioned it, 'Rest In Paradise Princess 👼🏼🌈 I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven ❤️😢 #AzayliaDiamondCain'

Who is Ashley Cain's partner?

Ashley Cain's partner Safiyya Vorajee, 32, is an aesthetic practitioner, dermal filler, and a registered nurse. She started dating Ashley in 2017 but the couple waited until January 2018 before they went Instagram-official.

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Safiyya is also mother to daughter Azaylia. She gave birth to her baby girl on 10th August last year and at the time, partner Ashley wrote, 'Azaylia Diamond Cain 7lbs 10oz. Born 10/08/2020. Time 06:56. There is no words to describe this feeling.'

On Instagram, the mum-of-one promotes her brand Mz Pretty but over recent months she has documented her daughter's health struggle after she was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

But just eight months after her birth, Azaylia passed away. Azaylia's mum Safiyya Vorajee wrote, 'You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul, RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart.'

A photo posted by on

Who is Ashley Cain's daughter?

Azaylia Diamond Cain was born on 10th August 2020. At just the tender age of eight weeks old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer called AML leukemia. But despite suffering from a rare disease she kept a smile on her face as she battled on.

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But she was cruelly taken away within the first year of her life when she passed away on 24th April 2021 and although she had a short life, she has warmed the hearts of people across the world - including Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson who sent her a video message.

Azaylia was taken home by her parents last week, who wanted to enjoy quality time with their baby girl in the remaining weeks of her life.

When was Azaylia Cain diagnosed?

At just eight weeks old, Azaylia was diagnosed with AML leukemia. According to the couple's GoFundMe page, doctors had warned them that there was a 'high probability she wouldn’t survive past the first round of chemotherapy” to the “aggressiveness and rareness of the disease combined with her age”.

But the brave tot “surprised them and us all” by pulling through two rounds of chemo “with very little side effects”.

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But having learned from medical experts that chemotherapy alone wouldn't be enough to cure their daughter's disease, the hunt was on for an urgent bone marrow transplant to save her life.

But before the transplant surgery could even take place, Azaylia had to have another round of chemotherapy and to her parent's surprise, she was still fighting. The parents explained on their fundraising page, 'Three rounds of chemotherapy and a full bone marrow transplant later, she is still fighting.'

In March 2021, Ashley thanked people for helping raise £1million in 16 hours to help for his daughter’s potentially life-saving treatment in Singapore but the treatment was dashed when doctors in the Uk discovered tumours had spread throughout her body including her brain and spleen.

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But they were served a final blow when they discovered that even after the transplant their precious Azaylia still "had traces of leukemia" and these started to multiply and she went into a full relapse.

And last week she returned home to Nuneaton in Warwickshire with her parents after being given just days to live - a time which Ashley summed up as “We aren’t counting the days, we’re making the days count” in an emotional Instagram post.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)