Simon Thomas has revealed his former father-in-law has passed away following a battle with blood cancer.
The Sky Sports presenter announced that his deceased wife Gemma’s father, known as ‘Pompa” had died of Myeloma – a similar type of cancer which took the life of his partner.
His death comes after Thomas lost his wife Gemma, 40, to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a mere three days after she was diagnosed with the disease in November 2017.
Simon Thomas posted a picture of his son Ethan with his grandfather ‘Pompa’, who passed away yesterday
Simon Thomas posted an emotional post on his Instagram this morning detailing his heartbreak
Simon Thomas pictured with his wife Gemma in October 2015
In a post this morning, Thomas wrote: ‘Life can feel very cruel. Last night Gemma’s Dad’s life reached its end as Myeloma took its final toll.
‘It’s devastating for Rebecca who in fourteen months has lost half of her family to #bloodcancer and heartbreaking for Ethan who only a month ago said, “why do I keep losing everything I love?”
‘Now he’s lost the man with whom he had the most special of relationships – the man he called “Pompa”.’
Thomas shared three family photographs with Gemma’s father, with the first of his son kissing his grandfather on the cheek as they smile.
The second showed Ethan cuddling up to ‘Pompa’ as his grandfather looked down at his grandson.
The latest tragedy is another devastating blow to the family, as Thomas revealed over Christmas that his son was struggling to get to grips with losing his mother.
Last month, in his first newspaper interview, Thomas revealed how Ethan wished he could have his mother back with him.
‘I asked him this morning what is the first thing that enters his brain when he wakes up. He replied, “How much I miss Mummy,”’ Thomas told the Mail on Sunday.
He said: ‘I’ve got two choices. Give up – I can’t do that, I don’t want to do that, I’ve got a boy to bring up, I promised Gemma. The only other choice then is you walk’
Thomas has launched his own fund with Bloodwise, The Gemma Thomas Fund, with proceeds going to the charity. The aim is to fight for earlier diagnosis of blood cancer, which causes more cancer-related deaths each year than breast or prostate cancer.
‘I want to bring good out of the wreckage of my life,’ he says. ‘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.’
Thomas has spoken of how little Ethan gave him a reason to get out of bed in the morning and helped him through the one-year anniversary of her death.
He told the BBC: ‘A few weekends ago it was the first anniversary of Gemma going and he knew it was the anniversary but he wasn’t thinking about it in the same way that we were.
‘He just grabbed my arm on the Friday night and just said ‘Dad, just so you know, if you’re ever feeling sad over the weekend you can just come and find me and I’ll give you a big hug.’
‘I just thought, don’t think I’d have got through this without him. It gives you a reason to live.
‘He is my everything. Without him I don’t know what life would look like right now.’
Just over a year since Gemma’s passing, Thomas is claimed to be in a new relationship with the daughter of a Christian minister.
Thomas, an avid Christian himself, is said to have struck up a relationship with Derrina Jebb, who is said to have comforted Thomas and in son following a difficult 12 months.
A source told The Sun that relationship ‘came as a shock’ as Thomas was not looking for another at the time, but the pair ‘had a connection’.