GRIEVING father Ashley Cain has paid an emotional tribute to his late daughter Azaylia on what would have been the tot's first birthday.
The former footballer, 30, told how his little girl "not only made my life, but she saved my life" in his emotional message ahead of the anniversary today, August 10.
Little Azaylia tragically died on April 25, at just eight months old, after a battle with leukaemia.
Azaylia's mum Safiyya Vorajee, as well as Ashley, had been left devastated after doctors found more tumours and ran out of options to save his baby girl who was battling a rare form of the disease.
For weeks, doctors said the brave baby girl could only have "days to live", but Ashley and Safiyya refused to give up hope.
Yet despite all the love and hope in the world the brave couple's sweet baby was cruelly snatched away in the first year of her life.
To mark the bittersweet occasion, former Ex On The Beach star Ashley took to his Instagram page for a tribute.
On his Instagram Stories, he wrote: "Going to bed with a heavy heart today as it's my beautiful babies 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 could've never imagined things would've turned out this way and it breaks my heart every single day to be without her,"
He finished off the emotional post with an orange Emoji love heart and the words: "I love you champ."
Ashley followed up with a slide which showed the tot peacefully asleep in her bed and the words: "Goodnight baby, daddy loves you to the stars and back."
In an attempt to cheer himself up slightly, he watched the comedy movie Cool Runnings.
Azaylia meant everything and more to me and she truthfully not only made my life, but she saved my life,"
Last month, The Sun reported how Ashley had a new neck tattoo in dedication to his daughter.
He told his 1.9m followers: "So I'm getting my first piece today to represent my beautiful baby girl."
When the stunning design is finished it will be portrait of a lion, an animal that means a lot to Ashley, partner Safiyya Vorajee and Azaylia.
Azaylia's family often refer to her as their "lickle lion".
Ashley's new tattoo comes after Safiyya admitted that she is "at breaking point" as she struggles with her loss.
The grieving mum previously opened up on her Instagram Story and told how she has had difficulty coping with her loss.
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