Ashley Cain has paid tribute to his late daughter on the eve of what would have been her first birthday.
The former footballer wrote a touching post on Instagram where he admits tragic Azaylia “not only made my life, but saved my life”.
Grieving dad Ashley also called his daughter his “hero” in the emotional message as he looked ahead to her birthday today (August 10).
He wrote: “Going to bed with a heavy heart today as it’s my beautiful baby’s 1st birthday tomorrow. I could’ve never imagined things would’ve turned out this way and it breaks my heart every single day to be without her.
“Azaylia meant everything and more to me and she truthfully not only made my life, but she saved my life. She will forever be my baby girl, my angel and my hero and I will always stand by being the best daddy to her I can be.
“I love you champ.”
Ashley then added a second post, a picture of his beautiful baby girl wrapped in an orange unicorn blanket with his hand touching her. He wrote: “Goodnight baby. Daddy loves you to the stars and back.”
Azaylia tragically passed away on April 25 at just eight months old after battling with a rare form of leukaemia.
Ashley and his partner Safiyya Vorajee shared regular updates via social media with their followers as doctors tried to save their daughter’s life.
Unfortunately, the aggressive cancer was not responsive to treatment and treatment options available to help Azaylia ran out.
The couple have continued to share their thoughts and feelings as they grieve for her.
Safiyya recently admitted feeling “broken” as she struggles to come to terms with the loss and ordeal they have been through.
She posted: “Today is another extreme day for me, I honestly feel at breaking point. I don’t even know what is happening in this world we live in.”
The heartbroken mum then shared a meme that read: “Grieving can make you lie. How easy it is to say ‘I am fine’ when you are actually just broken.”
She added: “Couldn’t say it any better, I am broken.”