The Challenge star Ashley Cain’s 8-month-old daughter, Azaylia, has died after a six-month-long battle with leukemia.
“Rest In Paradise Princess,” Cain wrote via Instagram on Sunday, April 25. “I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven.”
Cain’s girlfriend, Safiyya Vorajee, shared a tribute via Instagram too. “You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul,” she wrote. “RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart.”
The reality star, 30, and Vorajee welcomed their baby girl in August 2020. Two months later, Cain revealed that the newborn was diagnosed with a “rare and aggressive” form of leukemia, which he called the “most upsetting, terrifying and heartbreaking” news to learn as a new father.
In January, Azaylia went through a stem cell procedure in hopes of prolonging her life. The following month, however, the cancer returned.
“Today was supposed to be a day of unquestionable happiness,” Cain captioned an Instagram video in February. “However, it turned out like most days on this journey: a miracle blindsided by heartbreak! We got told a few days ago that Azaylia would be ringing the bell today and coming home with us as a family to resume treatment two days per week as an outpatient. However, 10 minutes before the moment we have been praying for over the last five months, we got urgently informed that Azaylia’s leukemia had returned.”
The England native later revealed in a 10-minute video on Instagram earlier this month that his little one only had “days to live,” noting that her condition had continued to worsen.
“Our world came down,” the former soccer star said in the clip on April 8, adding that two tumors were discovered on Azaylia’s brain one week prior. “They think she’s only got one, two days to live.”
Cain gave fans an update on his baby’s health journey one day later after she was admitted to the hospital for a platelet transfusion because she was bleeding out of her nose.
“Even with a barbaric disease consuming her blood, tumors in her brain and organs and amounts of pain I cannot imagine … She is still battling through 9 days later, with parts of the day with nothing but smiles despite her discomfort,” the Ex on the Beach alum wrote via Instagram on April 9 before bringing his daughter home the next day.
He added: “This is a testament of this little girls’ strength and the fight she has possessed all of the way through. She has fought a battle that not many, if any, of us could have endured and she’s earned the love and respect of many on the way. The truth is though, I hope and pray that I have earned hers! Even through the hardest and saddest time of my life, she has found a way to make it better. She has shined light on the darkest of days and she has opened my heart to amounts of love I couldn’t believe possible!”
The former athlete celebrated his daughter’s eight-month birthday shortly after she returned from the hospital on April 10.
“I honestly thought @therock was my hero until I spent the last 8 months with you. You taught me how to be strong when I needed strength, you taught me how to smile when I am feeling sad, you taught me how to cherish every single moment – as these moments are all we have,” he wrote in a heartfelt tribute via Instagram. “You’ve been tenacious, fearless, courageous, positive, happy and loving through times which I thought would make it impossible!”
Cain later shared multiple Instagram Story videos of his little one in his arms as he soaked up some father-daughter time. “Time is passing so quickly. Every second means everything,” he wrote alongside one clip on April 12. “There’s still so much fight like the LikkleLion.”
He explained that although Azaylia is “losing some movement on one side of her face as a result of the tumors … she’s still the most beautiful little girl.” The model added: “The fact that she is still smiling and playing is EVERYTHING.”
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