Ashley Cain's baby daughter Azaylia dies after leukemia diagnosis

Credit: ITV News

Former footballer Ashley Cain has announced the death of his eight-month-old daughter, Azaylia, who had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia.

Baby Azaylia Diamond Cain was diagnosed when she was just eight weeks old - her story prompting tens of thousands of people to sign up to become stem cell donors.

Cain and Azaylia's mother Safiyya Vorajee both posted on Instagram, paying tribute to their daughter.

A fundraiser to try to help save her life had reached more than £1.5 million.

Posting an image of Azaylia in his arms, Cain wrote: "Rest In Paradise Princess. I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven."

Vorajee also posted a picture of herself cradling her daughter, writing: "You are my angel, my heartbeat, my soul.

"RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart."

Cain had been raising money for Azaylia to get specialist cancer treatment in Singapore.

Ashley Cain, Safiyya Vorajee, and daughter Azaylia Diamond. Credit: Handout

After a successful bone marrow transplant, her leukaemia had rapidly multiplied and she had gone into a full relapse.

Doctors told the couple that chemotherapy would not be enough to cure her.

In November, the couple made a plea for people to register as a stem cell donor after being told their daughter required a transplant.

The campaign led to 41,000 people applying within 48 hours.

Cain had previously told how his daughter "shows us all everyday how much she loves life and wants to be here".

Speaking to ITV News in December, the former Ex On The Beach star described the moment they were told Azaylia would need a bone marrow transplant as "the toughest and most emotional day of our life".

Vorajee, told ITV News: "I think because she was so small that was the most heart-wrenching thing about it to think is she going to be strong enough to pull through."

Kate Ferdinand, Alesha Dixon and Scarlett Moffatt were among the celebrities paying tribute on Sunday.

Ferdinand wrote on Instagram: “So heartbroken for you all, rest in eternal peace beautiful Azaylia. Sending you so much love.”

Dixon wrote: “Rest in peace beautiful Azaylia”.

Moffatt wrote: “My prayers go to your beautiful princess and your whole family.”

Vogue Williams wrote: “Beautiful Azaylia, sending so much love”, and Vicky Pattison said: “I’m so sorry Ash… sending love.”