TV presenter Simon Thomas doing challenge a day for blood cancer awareness month

PUBLISHED: 11:18 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 02 September 2019

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise


TV presenter Simon Thomas is carrying out a mystery challenge each day in September to raise funds for blood cancer awareness month.

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: BloodwiseSimon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

The Norfolk-born former Sky Sports presenter lost his wife Gemma to an aggressive form of blood cancer, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), aged just 40 in November 2017.

Mr Thomas, whose parents live in Cromer, won't find out which challenge he's doing until the actual day, when he will reveal it live on social media.

He said: "At home, at work, with celebrity friends, and on the street, we'll see if Simon's got what it takes to tackle 30 tasks throughout the month.

"From the silly to the sublime, the risky to the ridiculous, every day I'll find out exactly what my challenge is. I really hope I don't end up regretting this.

"Apart from the Thames Bridges Trek on September 7, I have no idea what's in store.

"I've been told to expect the unexpected, and that there may be a few special challenges with my old pals from Blue Peter, but I'll just have to wait and see

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"I'm nervous and excited as to how it's going to turn out.

"We'll never get Gemma back. But in the months after her death, I formed the Gemma Thomas Fund with Bloodwise, the blood cancer charity.

"It will invest money into research on blood cancers such as AML to prevent other families suffering such devastating loss.

"If me taking on a few challenges can raise awareness and help make sure other families don't have to go through the same thing we did, then it will be worth a little temporary embarrassment."

More than 40,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer every year.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of blood cancer symptoms, and also to fundraise in support of Bloodwise and in Gemma's memory.

Blood cancer symptoms include unexplained bruising, bleeding, weight loss, rash or itchy skin, lumps or swellings, drenching night sweats, persistent, recurrent or severe infections, bone or joint pain and tiredness that doesn't improve with rest or sleep.

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