'The Challenge' star's daughter Azaylia Diamond died of leukemia at 8-months-old in 2021
Ashley Cain is set to be a father for the second time.
The Challenge star, 33, has revealed he is having another child, two years after the tragic death of his 8-month-old daughter Azaylia Diamond, who had leukemia, in 2021.
In a new interview with The Sun on Sunday, Cain shared that he is expecting a son with a woman he had dated earlier this year and whom he has known since he was 18.
“I got a message saying that she needed to speak to me so I went to see her and she told me she was pregnant — I can’t put into words how that felt,” Cain told the outlet.
“I believe, after having Azaylia, that I was put on this earth to be a father. And then the thought of potentially having another child after losing one was very difficult to understand for me,” he also said.
Cain added, “Even though this next part of my journey is going to be hard, I truly understand that every child that comes into this world is a blessing.”
A representative for Cain did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The Ex on the Beach alum shared the devastating news of the death of Azaylia on social media in April 2021. The 8-month-old had been diagnosed with “a very rare and aggressive form” of cancer in Oct. 2020, which returned in February 2021 following a stem-cell transplantation.
Azaylia was initially diagnosed with leukemia at just two months old and Cain went on to document his journey in seeking potentially life-saving treatment for his baby girl on social media, sharing regular updates with his followers.
In early April 2022, the former soccer player shared an Instagram video where he revealed that doctors had discovered cancerous tumors throughout his daughter's body and that her chemotherapy was was "not working." He also explained that further treatment would no longer be possible.
Later the same month, on April 25, he and ex-girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, Azaylia's mom, shared the devastating news that their daughter had tragically died.
"Rest In Paradise Princess 👼🏼🌈 I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven ❤️😢 #AzayliaDiamondCain," he wrote in his heartfelt tribute on Instagram.
Vorajee also shared an emotional message to her late daughter, writing on Instagram, "You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul, RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart."
In a clip from the interview with The Sun he shared on his Instagram page, a visibly emotional Cain talked about visiting Azaelia's grave and reflected on the type of father he had wanted to be to her, and wanted to be for his new son.
"The first thing that I did was go down and talk to her about it. When I thought of how my life would have been with Azaelia, I always wanted everything to be... to follow the trend of how it started. I wanted to be present in her life," he explained, in part.
He continued later, "I always wanted to be there, by her side, no matter what. And I wanted her to be able to trust in me. I wanted her to know that I would always keep the promise I made to her... so it's no different now."
"When I found out, I went and spoke to Azaelia about it," he said, adding, “I believe that was a huge part that has allowed me to feel positive about it after that, I feel like she was the main person I needed to speak to," he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, he explained that he felt uplifted after the experience.
"After going to her resting place and speaking to her about it, I just had a feeling in my heart and in my soul that she was happy for me,” the Ex on the Beach star said.
In comments in the online article, he added that telling ex Vorajee, whom he separated from in 2022 but has remained close with, was also "painful" though he knows she'll "always support" him.
Speaking on finding out the sex of his second child, Cain said that he “didn’t know how to deal or cope with it if it was a little girl” and that “it could have been heartbreaking all over again.”
“She would still be a blessing and I would still be over the moon and the best daddy — it would just be another bit of pain to navigate,” he told The Sun. “Now it means I have a little girl and a little boy, which is perfect for me. Azaylia would have loved a little brother.”
Cain shared that he was dealt with another tough blow as doctors spotted a “potential heart defect” in his unborn son during a 20-week scan.
“They couldn’t find the connection between one of the valves and the heart so it was another very difficult time for me,” he told the outlet. “I had already been through a really tough journey with Azaylia. I had already lost a child and I was worried and scared it could happen again.”
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He explained that after a final check-up they were informed by doctors that they “think everything will be ok,” and that his son will have to go back for a scan after being born to “double-check.”
"I want to be a hero to my son, for the hero that I have got in the sky," he said, adding, “I know this is going to be tough and difficult but it is also going to be magnificently beautiful."
Cain also shared his feelings about the future, saying, "I am really, really excited and happy and I can’t wait to see what this next part brings.”
He and Vorajee founded a charity, The Azalyia Foundation in 2021 following their daughter's death. According to the organization's website, the charity's work includes "donating to UK institutions advancing early diagnosis and the availability of new treatments, and collaborating with our community and other organisations to raise public awareness and campaign for change."
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