Simon Thomas takes on role of President at Bloodwise
TV presenter Simon Thomas has taken on an honorary role of President at Bloodwise.
Simon will focus on contributing to the newly created Gemma Thomas Fund, to raise money for our research into the type of blood cancer that his wife suddenly died from a year ago.
The former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter describes last year as 'life-changing' due to Gemma’s death to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in November.
Simon will continue to raise awareness of AML and other blood cancers, as well as lead on fundraising activities for the Gemma Thomas Fund. Plans are already underway for an ambitious and unique fundraising challenge in 2019.
We will invest funds raised by Simon into research projects which focus on improving understanding of AML and its relationship with other blood cancers, and finding more effective treatments for the disease. Survival rates for this aggressive type of blood cancer are shockingly low, with just 15% of people surviving for five years or more.
Simon said: “I am determined to raise as much money as I can, focusing on a big fundraising challenge involving a paddleboard and a lot of paddling. I want to invest in the research that will allow us to better predict when this disease might happen, and find new treatments that will save more lives and mean more families don't have to experience such a devastating loss.”
Symptoms of AML include:
- Persistent and unexplained tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained bruising
- Persistent infection
The Gemma Thomas Fund
Simon is determined that Gemma's fund will create a lasting legacy that improves the lives of others affected by blood cancer.
“It makes my heart glad because it’s bringing something good out of the utter wreckage of losing Gemma," says Simon. "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. Over half the population cannot name a single symptom of the disease, and yet it kills more people than breast or prostate cancer every year. That awareness has to improve."