Safiyya Vorajee tells grieving parents to ‘take baby steps’ ahead of Azaylia’s death anniversary

Safiyya Vorajee has shared advice for grieving parents and the importance of being kind to yourself.

It's been nearly a year since Safiyya and Ashley Cain tragically lost their eight month old daughter Azaylia following an arduous battle with leukaemia.

The grieving parents have fought tirelessly to help other families and children fighting cancer with The Azaylia Foundation, which captures Azaylia's spirit with the "little lion" logo.

Safiyya, who has worked with Abbott Lyon for International Women's Month to honour her daughter with The Azaylia Foundation Necklace, has told OK! how she has coped since tragically losing Azaylia.

She said: "What has helped me the most is the foundation and although we are in the process of doing so many amazing things behind-the-scenes, there is so much we are doing every day to put structure and strength together to help families.

"That has been my primary one, along with my circle of strength, is what I call them, which is the people who are around me every day and supporting me.

"Along with going to the gym and getting counselling to help me mentally, as well as doing things in the gym physically to actually get me out a little bit and on my bike as well. That has been really good.

"Keeping Azaylia's garden neat and tidy as well. I didn't have green fingers before but after this I feel like going down there every day makes me feel like I'm doing something for her and just keeping her area well respected and looked after."

Sharing advice for any other grieving parents, Safiyya said it is important to take "baby steps" and to be kind to yourself.

She said: "I think take each day as it comes, don't put any expectations on yourself, take baby steps. I've used that through the process from the day Azaylia passed and that is to take baby steps.

"Don't try and put your life back together so quick, just take each day as it comes and most importantly to be kind to yourself because you can beat yourself up left, right and centre, of not knowing.

"You know, you're not doing these things that are required from you in day-to-day life, you know, and just really be kind to yourself and each other."

Safiyya said that it has been comforting to help other grieving parents through the The Azaylia Foundation as she knows their pain and can understand what they are going through.

She said: "Because I know their pain, I feel like I can really empathise and understand them so much and help them. I think that makes such a huge difference when you know that the person you're speaking to has been through the same as you.

"We can always empathise with somebody's situation but until you've walked a day in that person's shoes, you'll never understand. So comforting bereaved parents through the foundation is 100% [something we do].

"When we were on the bike ride, with Ashley when he was doing his challenge, the amount of mums and dads I was speaking to that have lost a family member, they found so much comfort in me as a person to help them get through.

"Even if it's just going swimming or going out for a walk or doing their hair. Making time for themselves again has really helped so many people that I've spoke to."

Safiyya also sweetly said that the support she has received has been "beautiful" and "overwhelming", calling her social media community an "army".

She said: "The support has been really really beautiful and overwhelming at the same time. I think for such a long period of time, the followers behind Instagram were just numbers, to actually meet people in reality, to see the support and to be able to thank each person, it just makes me feel like we've got a great community and support behind us.

"They really do believe in us and loved Azaylia so much. I always say our community is our army and I love them very much for being such a great back bone, not only to our journey with Azaylia but to the foundation as well."

Next month will tragically mark one year since Safiyya and Ashley lost Azaylia with the duo planning a collection of initiatives through the foundation to raise awareness of childhood cancer.

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She shared: "The Azaylia Foundation will be marking the year with a number of initiatives including a non-uniform day in schools and Ashley's next amazing challenge, which we're going to share details of these over the next few weeks, which is really good.

"These will be opportunities for us to raise awareness of childhood cancer because for us, as long as childhood cancer is considered to be rare, there won't be enough funding going towards new treatments, towards early diagnosis , towards training GPs and their staff, to spot cancer in children when it's still curable.

"In the UK, alone, there are five children diagnosed with cancer every day, four children die of cancer every week, that doesn't feel rare and that's the fight we promised Azaylia we would take on every day with her foundation and you know that is what we will always do."

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