'She fought through it like the true champion she was': Ashley Cain shares snaps of late daughter Azaylia one year on from her stem cell transplant during brave battle against leukaemia
His beloved daughter sadly lost her fight against acute myeloid leukaemia in April last year at just eight months old.
And Ashley Cain took to Instagram on Tuesday to share sweet snaps of his little girl as he marked one year since her stem cell treatment during the battle to save her life.
The snaps showed little Azaylia dressed in a Lion King sleepsuit as a medic carried out the procedure, with proud father Ashley remarking: 'She fought through it like the true champion she was'.
Let's Go Champ: Ashley Cain took to Instagram on Tuesday to share sweet snaps of his late daughter Azaylia as he marked one year since her stem cell treatment
Captioning his post, the former Ex On The Beach star, 31, heaped praise on his 'fearless' and 'inspiring' daughter who had 'left her mark on this world', before thanking the thousands of people who registered to be a donor for Azaylia.
He penned: '1 year ago today Azaylia had her stem cell transplant and entered another fearless battle for her life.
'She fought through it like the true champion she was and engrafted 100% within record time. She displayed and brought love, happiness, strength and courage through every single step of her journey.
'She fought, inspired and left her mark on this world in such a beautiful innocent and pure little body which held the heart of a true lion.'
Brave: The snaps showed little Azaylia dressed in a Lion King sleepsuit as a medic carried out the procedure, with proud father Ashley remarking: 'She fought through it like the true champion she was'
Sharing his appreciation to those who tried to save his girl, he continued: 'Thank you from the bottom of my heart to over 100,000 of our community for registering to be a donor for Azaylia to save her life and in the end giving us those precious and sacred extra few months with her in our arms.
'Your love, heart and willingness to help will now go on to aid thousands of other adults and children fighting the good fight who need it.'
Ashley concluded by paying tribute to his late daughter, adding: 'Azaylia you gave me the best and most precious 8 months a daddy could ever wish for, you taught me lessons I would never have learnt and now even through pain, you have gave me something to fight for - a path and purpose that will help other children on my journey to being by your side once again.
Proud: Captioning his post, the former Ex On The Beach star, 31, heaped praise on his 'fearless' and 'inspiring' daughter who had 'left her mark on this world'
'My world, my champion, MY HERO - I love you! @theazayliafoundation.'
Meanwhile, his partner and Azaylia's mum Safiyya Vorajee also marked the one-year anniversary of her baby girl's stem cell transplant.
Alongside a video of Azaylia preparing to have the treatment, Safiyya wrote: 'Azaylias Donor Birthday Today.
'A year ago today you was given your transplant, the next battle began! You engrafted 100% donor and you fought so hard I am and always will be so proud of you!
Tribute: Meanwhile, his partner and Azaylia's mum Safiyya Vorajee also marked the one-year anniversary of her baby girl's stem cell transplant
Message: Alongside a video of Azaylia preparing to have the treatment, Safiyya wrote: 'Azaylias Donor Birthday Today. A year ago today you was given your transplant, the next battle began!'
'My baby girl you really are my everything, you are such a brave girl, my hero! you are an inspiration to me and so many others.
'This morning you lit the sky bright orange for us all to celebrate the day of your donor birthday, hope your dancing & playing with all the other angels. happy heavenly donor birthday baby mummy loves you
'Giving blood can help save a life! Register if you haven’t already.'
It comes after Ashley and Safiyya told MailOnline that they hope to get to a certain stage where they could have another baby.
Safiyya said: 'I always wanted a brother or a sister for Azaylia. Azaylia is and always will be our child and if she ever has any siblings in the future then she has somebody to sit with and play with. I look at it as beauty.'
She continued: 'We always wanted Azaylia to have brothers and sisters. I never say never and that would be a beautiful thing for Azaylia to have siblings when the time is right, and things feel natural and organic to do that.
Looking forward: It comes after Ashley and Safiyya told MailOnline that they hope to get to a certain stage where they could have another baby (pictured with Azaylia in 2021)
'We can always revisit that at a certain stage when we feel ready to do that.'
Azaylia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at eight weeks and had tumours on her lungs, stomach and kidneys.
She was given several rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at Birmingham Children's Hospital before her parents set up a GoFundMe appeal for her to have pioneering treatment in Singapore, currently unavailable in the UK.
Azaylia's heartbreaking story captured hearts worldwide as well-wishers donated £1.6million.
But tragically, she never made it as a CT scan revealed two large brain tumours meaning her cancer was too advanced.
Her funeral took place last May and Ashley and Safiyya created a memorial garden next to her grave in Azaylia's honour, which they revisited in August to host a celebration party on what would have been her first birthday.
Sorely missed: Azaylia sadly lost her fight against acute myeloid leukaemia in April last year at just eight months old
A timeline of Azaylia's six-month leukaemia battle
October 2020: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a 'rare and aggressive' form of leukaemia, which he described as an 'uphill battle'.
Heartbreaking: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a 'rare and aggressive' form of leukaemia in October
Azaylia was turned away by doctors three times and prescribed laxatives and a nasal spray when her breathing was impeded, shortly before her diagnosis.
By the end of the month, the brave child faced her second surgery and 16th chemotherapy-related treatment in less than two weeks.
November 2020: Azaylia's hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed.
Doctors informed Ashley and his family that the tot needed a bone marrow transplant and blood donation.
Due to her Caribbean, Burmese, Indian and English background, the footballer said it was very difficult to find a match for a transplant.
Azaylia was brought home for a few days before her second round of chemotherapy.
December 2020: 80,000 people became stem cell donors 48 hours after Ashley appealed for the public's help.
So sad: Azaylia's hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed in November
January 2021: The TV star confirmed a stem cell donor had been found for his baby daughter Azaylia.
She received her stem cell transplant but her cancer sadly returned following a third round of chemotherapy.
February 2021: Azaylia responded well to her stem cell treatment and doctors were impressed with 'how strong she was'.
She underwent further surgery to discover whether her leukaemia had gone. Later in the month, doctors revealed her cancer had returned.
March 2021: They were told there were 'very few options' to help the baby's condition before she had another bone marrow test. She relapsed by the end of the month and underwent her fourth round of chemotherapy.
Ashley surpassed his target goal of £1million after he set up a GoFundMe to pay for life-saving treatment for his daughter Azaylia.
Heartbreaking: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours all over her body
The former Ex On The Beach star took to social media to ask fans for help in donating, explaining the treatment his daughter needed is available in Singapore.
Ashley described the treatment, CAR-T therapy, as 'the only option to save Azaylia's life' and said he and partner Safiyya may have to fly out in a matter of weeks, adding it will take a minimum of one year.
Celebrities such as former TOWIE star Kate Ferdinand, Love Island's Molly-Mae Hague and PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani all donated.
Despite efforts from around the world, pharmaceutical companies could not release the life-saving drugs needed to beat his daughter Azaylia's battle.
April 2020: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours in her stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain.
Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home.
They marked her turning eight months old by having moulds made of her feet, and Azaylia was met with support from the London Underground and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
She received life-prolonging transfusion after her condition caused profuse bleeding and public figures joined the nationwide clap held in her honour.
Azaylia was nominated for a Pride of Britain award and had a plane draw a heart in the sky for her.
The tot was put on oxygen to aid her sleep, and struggled to open her eyes due to swelling.
Scam artists set up fake Facebook pages in her name, with Ashley admitting: 'We feel really sad it has come to this'.
Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion a few days before she died.
The influencer's 'fragile' daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death.