Simon Thomas admits he MISSED signs of his late wife’s leukaemia because he wasn’t aware of the symptoms of blood cancer
- Simon Thomas lost wife Gemma to cancer – 4 days after diagnosis – in late 2017
- Ex Sky Sports presenter has been raising awareness of blood cancer symptoms
- He admitted he didn’t know what signs to look for before Gemma’s diagnosis
Simon Thomas has admitted he missed signs of his late wife’s leukaemia, in a bid to raise awareness of blood cancer symptoms.
The former Blue Peter presenter, 46, from Norfolk, confessed that before his wife Gemma’s diagnosis he didn’t know the signs to look out for as he appeared on This Morning today.
He revealed that before his wife’s death in November 2017, four days after her diagnosis, he noticed she had a bruise, which she told him had been on her body weeks.
Unexplained bruising is often an early sign of blood cancers, as well as persistent and unexplained tiredness, weight loss, and breathlessness.
Simon Thomas (pictured on This Morning today) has admitted he missed signs of his late wife’s leukaemia, in a bid to raise awareness of blood cancer symptoms
The former Blue Peter presenter, from Norfolk, confessed that before his wife Gemma’s diagnosis he didn’t know the signs to look out for. Pictured: Simon and Gemma in 2015
Asked by presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield if he recognised any symptoms at the time, the ex Sky Sports presenter said: ‘Absolutely not.
‘And some are now so obvious when I look back on what was happening just days before Gemma fell seriously ill and was taken to hospital and diagnosed.
‘There was this big bruise on her thigh and I remember saying to her where’s that from and it came from a fall three weeks before when she’d broken her foot but that bruise hadn’t gone.
‘This is one of the tell tale signs that something could be wrong.’
Only one in ten people are confident they know the common symptoms of blood cancer despite it being one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the UK, according to Bloodwise, a leading British blood cancer research charity.
He revealed that before his wife’s death in November 2017, four days after her diagnosis, he had discovered a bruise on her which had failed to disappear within three weeks. Pictured: The pair together in a photograph posted to the presenter’s Instagram
Simon (pictured) also gave blood live on the ITV programme, as part of his goal to take on a new challenge every day for a month to raise money in memory of Gemma
Simon also gave blood live on the ITV programme, as part of his goal to take on a new challenge every day for a month to raise money in memory of Gemma.
The father-of-one is taking on 30 challenges in 30 days throughout September, and was given the task by Holly and Phillip.
‘I was a little bit nervous,’ the presenter admitted while sitting on a hospital bed and having his blood taken.
‘But I’ve barely felt a thing and I feel fine and when you understand what giving blood does… it is so worth it. I’m going to get get on board and do this more regularly.’
The Norfolk-born father-of-one has been raising son Ethan, 10, single-handedly after losing Gemma to cancer at the end of 2017. The family pictured together
On his Just Giving page, where Simon is fundraising whilst participating in the challenges, he wrote: ‘We’ll never get Gemma back. But in the months after her death, I formed the Gemma Thomas Fund with Bloodwise.
‘It will invest money into research on blood cancers such as AML to prevent other families suffering such devastating loss.’
In November 2017, Gemma was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms.
She died just four days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, aged 40.