ASHLEY Cain has shared the heartbreaking moment that he sang late daughter Azaylia’s favourite Disney song at her funeral last week.
The 30-year-old star broke down in tears during the touching eulogy to his little girl, who passed away at eight months old in April.
Brave Azaylia battled leukaemia for much of her short life, and Ashley reflected on how a hit from The Jungle Book would never fail to make her smile – even in the hardest moments.
He told the gathered loved ones: “No matter how sad we were, Azaylia always made us smile, so I think it’s our turn to make Azaylia smile as she watches down on us today from heaven.
“There was a song for me personally, and Safiyya, that we used to love singing to Azaylia – a song that no matter how sad, how upset she was, we used to sing this song and it’d bring her enormous amounts of joy.”
Ashley went on: “If you open the book, there’s the lyrics – it’s not your typical song you’d expect to hear at a funeral, but for Azaylia’s day it’s the right song – and the song that she deserves.”
He smiled: “Please excuse my voice”, as he sang the first verse to I Wanna Be Like You a capella, before encouraging everyone else to stand and sing the chorus with him with “a lot of energy”, adding: “She’d like that.”
After the song, Ashley fought back tears as he thanked everybody for singing, adding: “We love you, Azaylia” before walking back to his seat next to girlfriend Safiyya.
Ashley shared his moving 12-minute eulogy to his Instagram page today, emotionally opening up in the caption: “The toughest speech of my life
“The week leading up to Azaylia’s day was comprised of sadness, fear and anxiety. I was sad because my beautiful baby had passed, I was scared because it was our final goodbye and I was anxious because I wanted to make sure I had the strength to stand up and speak about my hero, and how she impacted my life.I Wanna Be Like You was Azaylia’s favourite song[/caption] He and girlfriend Safiyya laid their little girl to rest last week[/caption]
“I wrote a speech at 4am two days before Azaylia’s day. I couldn’t bring myself to go back to it or read through because of the pain it caused. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t have the strength when I came to it, and It made me panic, as it meant everything to me to be able to speak about my likkle lion that day.
“But when the day came, I just had some strong belief and some crazy faith, that my baby would get me through it. And like always, she did.
“To the top of every mountain, to the bottom of every valley. Along every road, across every ocean. North to south, east to west, corner to corner, pillar to post. I’ll take you there. Let’s Go Champ! ”
He added: “Oobee doo, I wanna be like you!”Azaylia passed away at eight months old[/caption]
Azaylia was laid to rest last Friday, with Ashley and Safiyya sure to give their daughter the send-off that she deserved.
Locals lined the streets to say goodbye, with many wearing orange, the colour used to represent her fight, and holding balloons as the horse-drawn carriage carrying her coffin passed.
At the beginning of April, heartbroken Ashley and Safiyya revealed that doctors had told them they could no longer treat Azaylia’s leukaemia, which she was diagnosed with at just eight weeks old.The little girl bravely battled leukaemia for much of her short life[/caption] Azaylia won hearts across the globe[/caption]
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The family had just raised over £1million for her to get specialist treatment in Singapore when they were delivered the heartbreaking news, with medics finding tumours throughout her body – including on her brain.
In the weeks that followed, Azaylia needed several blood transfusions as she started to cry blood, and suffer nosebleeds – with purple bruises also appearing on her body as her illness meant that her blood could not clot.
She stopped breathing several times and began to suffer seizures in her final days, with Safiyya and Ashley providing their daughter round-the-clock care alongside their close family members.
Azaylia passed away at home on 24 April, with Ashley and Safiyya both paying emotional tribute as they broke the news on social media the following day.