Former footballer Ashley Cain attempts ‘ultraman’ world record in memory of daughter who died of cancer | UK News

Former footballer Ashley Cain is carrying out an ‘ultraman’ challenge to raise money for a cancer charity, after his baby daughter died from leukaemia at just eight months old.

The 33-year-old, previously a winger for clubs including Coventry City and Mansfield Town, completed his 34th marathon in 34 days on Tuesday.

Cain is crossing Britain three times from top to bottom – once running, once cycling, and once kayaking – over the course of three months.

If he completes his challenge, he will be a world record holder for the feat. This is thought to be the first time it has been attempted.

Ashely Cain running his 34th marathon in 34 days. Pic: Zain Riza
Ashley Cain running his 34th marathon in 34 days. Pic: Zain Riza

The challenge hasn’t only been physically difficult for Cain. He started running on the anniversary of his daughter’s death, which he said was “tough”.

“[I] ran through the anniversary of us laying her to rest as well,” he told Sky News from John O’Groats, where he finished the first leg of his feat.

“That just really signifies why I’m doing this.”

Azaylia has returned home from hospital. Pic: Ashley Cain
Baby Azaylia in hospital. Pic: Ashley Cain

Baby Azaylia was diagnosed with cancer at eight weeks old. Despite having successful bone marrow treatment, she died in April 2021.

“Childhood cancer is the number one killer of our children. It is the illness that took my daughter’s life,” said Cain.

“With this challenge, hopefully we can raise a lot more awareness, a lot more funding and enable a brighter future for these children.”

Cancer charities say childhood cancer receives less than 3% of all cancer funding in the UK.

Ex-footballer Ashley Cain rans five marathons in five days in 2022 to raise money for the Azaylia Foundation. File pic: PA
Ashley Cain ran five marathons in five days in 2022 to raise money for the Azaylia Foundation. File pic: PA

During her lifetime, Azaylia’s parents raised more than £1.5m to try and save her life, with mother Safiyya Vorajee campaigning to get her treatment in Singapore.

When she died, they set up the Azaylia Foundation to raise money for children fighting cancer and their families.

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Sharing a picture of himself holding his daughter’s hand, Cain posted on Instagram at the time saying: “My heart is shattered.

“You gave my life a purpose, my face a smile, filled my heart with love and my soul with pride.

“I can’t put into words my sadness and pain, there aren’t words to describe it.”

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The money Cain raises during his challenge will go to the Azaylia Foundation.

“The support from the community has been absolutely incredible,” said Cain.

“Not only has it been fuel, but they’re really helping us make a difference for these children.”

More than £70,000 has already been donated to the fundraiser.

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