Simon Thomas reveals he is 'dreading Christmas' just over a year after losing wife to cancer
PUBLISHED: 10:19 16 December 2018 | UPDATED: 07:42 17 December 2018
TV presenter Simon Thomas, has said he is wishes he could 'fast forward' through Christmas, which he will face without his wife Gemma, who died suddenly of blood cancer just over a year ago.
Speaking to a national newspaper, the Norfolk-raised former Blue Peter presenter said he is dreading the festive season but knows it is an important time of year for his eight-year-old son, Ethan.
“I don’t want to do Christmas, but I know it is very important for Ethan. My own grief is just about manageable but the grief I feel for Ethan and Gemma...
“Gemma has lost years of seeing her boy grow up while Ethan doesn’t have a mum by his side,” he said in an interview with the Mail On Sunday.
Mr Thomas added that his son has told him he misses his mum -who died of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in November 2017 - every single morning.
“I asked [Ethan] what is the first thing that enters his brain when he wakes up. He replied, ‘How much I miss Mummy’.”
Mrs Thomas died in November 2017 just a few days after being diagnosed with AML, she had previously been suffering from headaches, insomnia and exhaustion all common ailments which at the time, did not spark concern and were put down to stress.
It wasn’t until her headaches worsened, she could not get out of bed and started vomiting that she was rushed to hospital, where blood tests were carried out and her diagnosis revealed.
Despite undergoing treatment to thin her blood the 40-year-old died three days after her diagnosis.
Earlier this year, in his wife’s memory Mr Thomas launched The Gemma Thomas Fund, the proceeds of which will go to Bloodwise, a charity which funds research into improving diagnoses times for blood cancers which each year cause more cancer-related deaths than breast or prostate cancer.
Speaking about the fund, Mr Thomas who has also become the honorary president of Bloodwise said: “It makes my heart glad because it’s bringing something good out of the utter wreckage of losing Gemma.
“I want to make sure more people are aware of the signs and symptoms of all blood cancers, so we can improve early diagnosis and give people that fighting chance.
“To help reduce the ignorance about blood cancer, not least because the symptoms are less specific than for other cancers. People need to be persistent with their doctor and insist on a blood test. It can be the difference between living and dying.
“I am also determined to raise as much money as I can. I want to invest in research that will allow us to better predict when this disease might happen and find new treatments to save more lives - meaning other families don’t have to experience such a devastating loss.”
More information about Bloodwise can be found here