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Ashley Cain shares funeral details for his baby daughter

Azaylia Diamond Cain died of leukemia in late April. She was 8 months old.
Ashley Cain is pictured with his baby girl, Azaylia, in March 2021.
Ashley Cain is pictured with his baby girl, Azaylia, in March 2021.mrashleycain / Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Ashley Cain is sharing funeral details for his 8-month-old daughter Azaylia after the baby girl died of cancer in late April.

"We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, words of sympathy & patience over the last few weeks, while we have come to terms with the loss of Azaylia," Cain, a former professional soccer player and star of MTV’s "The Challenge: War of the Worlds," wrote on Instagram, alongside several photos of Azaylia dressed in a soft pink robe. Azaylia's mother, Safiyya Vorajee, shared the same post along with a selfie of herself and Azaylia.

The couple said they have been "incredibly moved by the support" they've received since Azaylia's death.

"The beautiful gestures of kindness will live in (our) hearts forever," they wrote.

Cain said he understood that many fans and followers wanted to pay their respects, so he and Vorajee have been working with local police to give people "the chance to do so" while also observing coronavirus precautions.

The couple and police in Nuneaton, a town in northern Warwickshire, England, were able to develop a plan for "Azaylia's Day" starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 21.

"Prior to Azaylia's service, we will be giving Azaylia her last journey through Nuneaton town," Cain wrote, explaining the route the procession would take. "We would be touched and honored to see as many of those that wish pay their respects to Azaylia by lining the street somewhere along the route the cortege will proceed through.

"We respectfully ask all attending Azaylia's final journey to adhere to the current Covid legislation, to maintain social distancing and to keep within your family bubbles," the post continued continued. "This will ensure everyone is safe and following the rules that are set out."

A private ceremony for the family also will be held.

"As truly difficult as the day will be, we are going to give it our all to keep Azaylia's day an uplifting day of remembrance for her life and encourage anyone attending to show their love by clapping and making joyous noise of celebration as the cortege goes by!" the couple wrote. "We would love to make her final journey a special one as she watches from heaven."

Last week, Cain said on Instagram that "nothing could ever have prepared him" for planning his child's funeral.

"Some days it breaks me and I can’t even (bear) to do it," he wrote. "I always thought I was tough, but making decisions on how I’m going to bury my baby is enough to bring me to my knees every single time."

Azaylia was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia in October 2020 when she was just 2 months old. Despite medical treatment, she passed away at home in late April.

Both parents have shared emotional tributes to their daughter, with Vorajee writing online that "words fail to explain the heartache" of losing a child and Cain saying that his "heart aches" in Azaylia's absence.

On Monday, Cain honored what would have been Azaylia's 9-month birthday with a sweet video.

"Today Azaylia turned 9 months old in heaven," he wrote.