After losing his wife acute myeloid 22, former Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas will be undertaking a challenge for Bloodwise UK.
Gemma Thomas passed away in November 2017, along with his son Ethan and Simon have put out to increase consciousness of the fact that September is currently Blood Cancer Awareness month.
Day 14 had been spent Sky Sports, at which Thomas was on Soccer AM to select the volley challenge with fellow Norwich lovers before setting off for Carrow Road, at which he played with soccer at half of the Canaries‘ win over Manchester City.
„Blood Cancer Awareness month is September and that is why I am taking on a single challenge daily for Bloodwise, and every day the struggles have been consequences,“ explained Thomas.
„We are trying first and foremost to raise consciousness, because at the moment it is the fifth most frequent cancer in the country, but when it comes to cancers it is the third biggest killer.
„As well as increasing awareness, Bloodwise have been phenomenal in establishing a finance in Gemma’s title – that the Gemma Thomas finance – and the money we have been raising, which I believe is only about #5000, is placing cash into not only blood cancer research, but also acute myeloid leukaemia that’s a rare form but this aggressive type.
„For the 3000 or so individuals who get it in the UK annually, the 1 thing that’s got to shift is that the survival rate because past five years the survival rate in the moment for somebody who gets acute myeloid leukaemia is only 15 percent which needs to change.“
Thomas says his chain of challenges‘ goal is to educate people on the signs of blood cancer.
„We know from here at Sky Sports exactly what Jeff Stelling was doing with his walks for prostate cancer, that the narrative in terms of educating men about what to search out in regard to prostate cancer and soccer has been a game-changer,“ explained Thomas.
„prostate cancer in the past couple of years which has had its own game-changer [instant ] in relation to women now knowing what things to look out for. The problem with blood cancer is they can be varied and that the signs are numerous.
„Folks right now are not up to speed about what to watch out for as well as our cost a couple of decades back, when Gemma started falling ill, we didn’t know what she was experiencing – the headaches, the intense tiredness, the bruise that would not go were all tell-tale signs that something which was seriously wrong.
„We are first off trying to raise awareness because in the second half of the UK population cannot name just one blood cancer manifestation and that has got to change.“
The Ruth Strauss Foundation was set up by former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss in honour of his wife, who died of a rare type of lung cancer in December 2018.
On day two of the second Ashes Test between Australia and England, everybody was asked to use red to Lord’s to raise money and awareness for the cause. Thomas was unable to attend but says he has felt the effect of support.
„I haven’t met [Strauss] because what occurred but we exchanged messages a bit about how exactly is he’s doing and he very kindly invited me along to that remarkable evening at Lord’s, but we were away at the time and couldn’t proceed,“ said Thomas.
„We have observed through Andrew Strauss and Glenn McGrath – but also we felt it somewhat ourselves when this happened – that there’s a large community within the area of sport and particularly when it comes to soccer.
„I’d innumerable messages such as a lovely letter in Mauricio Pochettino in Tottenham that he wrote himself – it wasn’t a sort of club-generated letterthat he had written it himself. You felt that the area of football getting you about and saying’Look this is terrible what has happened to you but we’re alongside you‘.
To contribute to Simon Thomas‘ 30-day struggle for Bloodwise UK visit www.bloodwise.org.uk/simon
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