Ashley Cain and Safiyya Vorajee have split just days before the first anniversary of the death of their daughter Azaylia.
The couple tragically lost their baby on April 25 last year when she was just eight months old following a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
As they approach a year’s milestone since the loss, the couple have announced they have gone their separate ways, but said they remain ‘bonded by our powerful journey together’ and ‘the eternal love we have for our daughter’.
Ashley, 31, said in an Instagram statement on Wednesday: ‘After a devastating and heartbreaking year, Safiyya and I decided to separate a few months ago.’
Heartbreaking: Ashley Cain and Safiyya Vorajee have split just days before the first anniversary of the death of their daughter Azaylia
The Ex On The Beach star continued: ‘This was an incredibly tough decision which we needed to keep to ourselves for some time to give us the opportunity to figure out our own journey privately.
‘The past few months have demonstrated that we remain the closest of friends, spending time together everyday and that we will love, care and support each other forever.
‘We are bonded by our powerful journey together, by the eternal love we have for our daughter and our passionate commitment to her foundation.’
A source told The Sun: ‘No one knows how something so tragic can affect a couple, and it’s been incredibly painful for them to make this decision.
‘They will always love and support each other, and still live together, but the romantic side of their relationship has come to an end.’
Safiyya, 33, also revealed she was ‘feeling low’ in an emotional Instagram post shared just before their split was announced.
Devastating: Ashley announced the news in an Instagram statement on Wednesday saying that ‘we remain the closest of friends’, and that they spend time together ‘every day’
Distraught: Safiyya revealed she was ‘feeling low’ in an emotional Instagram post on Wednesday before the split was announced
The couple have been incredibly open with their followers about their journey – updating their fans on their daughter’s illness and how they coped with their grief in the tragic months after her death.
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 but she died in April last year.
Before her death, Ashley and Safiyya 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 and they launched The Azaylia Foundation to help people going through similar situations.
Honest: The couple have been incredibly open about their journey – updating their fans on their daughter’s illness and how they coped with their grief in the tragic months after her death
The charity aims to support families that are fundraising for treatments that may not be readily available on the NHS and provide children with memorable experiences as they fight cancer.
While most people would be overwhelmed with other grieving parents approaching them for support, Safiyya bravely revealed that she likes to help people out and lend an ear when she can.
In a recent interview with MailOnline she said: ‘I am very happy for people to come up to me, sometimes people feel more comfortable to come to me to talk than they do their own partner or family, people can shut down a lot when they have to talk to someone that they know.
‘I’m so glad that we shared it with the world. She was an absolute beacon of light and we got to share that with everyone. The public have been our biggest support.
‘Over 80,000 people registered to be a donor for her when she was really sick. I am so proud of my daughter and I get to talk about that and I hope that it can help others.’
Upsetting: Azaylia sadly lost her life on April 25th at just eight months old following a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia
Safiyya – who poignantly revealed that her happiest memory of Azaylia was the day she was born – also opened up about what advice she would give to other parents who are going through the pain of being in hospital with an ill child.
She said: ‘I would tell them to treasure every moment with their child. We really tried to embrace Azaylia as much as we could. And people should just take each day as it comes, and make them smile, you need to keep that positive energy.’
‘I meet families who have been through the same thing all the time. I get women coming up to me in ASDA, people come and talk to me all the time.
‘Women always message me on Instagram as well and I want to empower other people and other women to be able to help their children and support the situation.’
Strong women: News of their split comes after Ashley shared a heartfelt Mother’s Day post featuring his grandmother, godmother, Saifyya, and his mother
Devastating: Another image showed his mother posing with Safiyya at Azaylia’s grave. He wrote: ‘Is a hard picture to put into words. A broken mother and grandmother on Mother’s Day’
Lovely words: Ashley called Safiyya an ‘incredible mother’ and vowed to ‘love and appreciate’ her forever in his heartfelt post
News of their split comes after Ashley shared a heartfelt Mother’s Day post in which he called Safiyya an ‘incredible mother’ and vowed to ‘love and appreciate her forever’.
He shared an image of his grandmother, godmother, mother and Saifyya posing together that he captioned: ‘4 incredible mother’s in their own right who I’d like to celebrate in abundance for everything they’ve given to me and this world.
‘They are strong, they are loving, they are caring and they always give 100% to the people who need them. It’s safe to say, I wouldn’t be who I am today without these women and I will love and appreciate them forever. ❤️’
Another image showed his mother posing with Safiyya at Azaylia’s grave. He wrote: ‘Is a hard picture to put into words. A broken mother and grandmother on Mother’s Day.
‘Loving, missing and yearning with all their hearts for their daughter and granddaughter, at her resting place.
‘It also shows my other grandmother’s resting place, above my daughters who we lost last year.’
He continued: ‘On this day, as well as celebrating all the amazing mothers out there. I would like to share most of my love and strength for the mothers who have lost their children, and the people who have lost their mothers. I wish you a gentle day today.
‘We love you will all our hearts Azaylia, your mommy is making you proud. #mothersday’
Safiyya captioned the image: ‘Beautiful words such an incredibly hard day today.’
She then shared an emotional tribute of her own as she faced her first Mother’s Day following the death of her daughter.
She admitted that she was ‘really struggling’ and felt ‘suffocated’ as she described her heartache.
Tragic: It comes after Safiyya shared an emotional tribute to her Instagram as she faces her first Mother’s Day following the death of her baby daughter Azaylia
Tragic: Alongside the adorable snaps she penned a lengthy caption: ‘Mother’s Day, my beautiful daughter Azaylia Diamond Cain’
She continued: ‘How am I coping with today??? I’m really struggling, the ache in my heart the lump in my throat the sore eyes from me crying I feel suffocated by today’
Alongside the adorable snaps she penned a lengthy caption: ‘Mother’s Day, my beautiful daughter Azaylia Diamond Cain.
‘The most precious memories we made together, the beautiful feeling you gave me when you was born and I saw your angelic face, everyday with you was magical a true gift to be your mummy.’
‘We will always be connected our bond & love is UNBREAKABLE and I no your with me today & everyday.’
Reflection: ‘Waking up with a heavy heart is something I do everyday but today I was reflecting on last years Mother’s Day, I was so proud to wake up with my baby give her a bath’
Support: ‘I know so many of you Angel mummies are waking up feeling the same, or the sadness of not having a mother to share this special day with’
Heartbreaking: Addressing her followers she finished: ‘Thankyou to everyone for the beautiful messages flowers and treats the kindness is heartwarming’
She described her pain as she continued: ‘How am I coping with today??? I’m really struggling, the ache in my heart the lump in my throat the sore eyes from me crying I feel suffocated by today I just want it to be over! Is the truth of how it really feels.’
‘Waking up with a heavy heart is something I do everyday but today I was reflecting on last years Mother’s Day, I was so proud to wake up with my baby give her a bath see her pretty smile light up my heart and have breakfast at home as a family smiling & enjoying my 1st Mother’s Day I will always treasure that day.’
‘I know so many of you Angel mummies are waking up feeling the same, or the sadness of not having a mother to share this special day with my thoughts and love are with you all be gentle with yourself today.’
Always in our hearts: Ashley and Safiyya are pictured at Azaylia’s funeral procession in May
Heartbreaking: A floral tribute of her name and Lion King toys were displayed in a hearse which followed the horse-drawn carriage
She added: ‘And for the others that are lucky enough to celebrate this day hold it with both hands and soak every last drop up with your children or mothers.
‘Thankyou Ashley for waking me up this morning & bringing me coffee & flowers in bed but most importantly making me a mummy to our beautiful baby girl my love will run for eternity for you & Azaylia.’
Addressing her followers she finished: ‘Thankyou to everyone for the beautiful messages flowers and treats the kindness is heartwarming.’
The couple laid their daughter to rest in May last year with a Lion King-themed funeral.
If you have been affected by the death of a baby please call Sands on 0808 164 3332 or email email@example.com
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 in April
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.
Tender moments: Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home later that month
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.
Scary: The influencer’s ‘fragile’ daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death
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.