Ashley Cain heartbroken as he shares his pain ahead of Father's Day after baby daughter Azaylia's tragic death
ASHLEY Cain has shared his pain ahead of Father's Day tomorrow – a difficult milestone after baby daughter Azaylia's tragic death.
The 30-year-old star opened up about the agony of never getting to spend the annual event with his little girl, who passed away in April at eight months old.
The devastated dad admitted that he hadn't even realised that Father's Day was soon, but once reminded he anticipated it being "the hardest day yet".
Bravely opening up on his Instagram page today, Ashley told followers: "It was only when my dad rang me yesterday and asked me if I'd like to go round his house for food today because he couldn't cope with Father's Day this year, that I realised it was Father's Day tomorrow.
"It's cut me so deep that I never got the chance to have Father's Day while Azaylia was here with me and I'm already feeling like tomorrow is going to be one of the hardest days yet."
He went on to add a broken heart emoji.
Azaylia was born in August of last year, two months after Father's Day 2020, and passed away six weeks after Mother's Day 2021.
Ashley shares his little girl with partner Safiyya, and both have been open in sharing their grief online following their daughter's death.
The former footballer opened up some more about his Father's Day plans later in the day, revealing he hoped to complete an eight-mile run and 30-mile bike ride before visiting Azaylia's grave.
He explained: "I want to be as fresh as possible for tomorrow so I can get up, I can run eight miles, I can bike 30 miles, and I can go and spend some time down with my daughter for Father's Day.
"She's given me the strength, y'know – and I'm starting to make the right decisions in my life for the right reasons. Let's go champ."
Earlier in the day, Ashley revealed he'd been moved to tears by a heartbreaking poem about God interacting with Azaylia before her birth, explaining to her that she will teach her parents and the rest of the world what "true strength" is.
Last month, Ashley had to reassure fans that he was okay after concerning them when he said he was "haunted" by his little girl passing away in his arms.
He broke down in tears in an emotional video at Azaylia's grave, but later shared: "I know I got in my feelings a bit tonight, but I want everyone to know they don't need to worry about me… My daughter fought so hard for her life that I would never, ever give mine up.
"I'm dedicating the rest of my life to fighting, set up this charity to be sure that other families and children don't have to have it as hard as we did."
Ashley added that all he asked was for continued support from his online following as he vowed to always fight in Azaylia's name.
Ashley's posts came hours after Safiyya admitted that she was "numb" and will "never be the same again" in an emotional tribute to her little girl.
The couple laid their daughter to rest last month following her tragic passing in April.
The devoted parents were sure to give Azaylia the send-off she deserved, and were moved as locals lined the streets to pay their respects as the horse-drawn carriage carrying her coffin passed.
At the beginning of April, heartbroken Ashley and Safiyya revealed that doctors had told them they could no longer treat Azaylia's leukaemia, which she was diagnosed with at just eight weeks old.
The family had just raised over £1million for her to get specialist treatment in Singapore when they were delivered the heartbreaking news, with medics finding tumours throughout her body – including on her brain.
In the weeks that followed, Azaylia needed several blood transfusions as she started to cry blood, and suffer nosebleeds – with purple bruises also appearing on her body as her illness meant that her blood could not clot.
She stopped breathing several times and began to suffer seizures in her final days, with Safiyya and Ashley providing their daughter round-the-clock care alongside their close family members.
Azaylia passed away at home on 24 April, with Ashley and Safiyya both paying emotional tribute as they broke the news on social media the following day.
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