Thomas was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer just before his second birthday and is the son of friends of mine - Wyn, and his wife Charlotte. They lost their
beautiful baby boy Thomas back in 2013.
I only met Thomas once, when he was just a baby. Emma and I were at a dinner party with our mutual friends Dermot and Lucy. Although Thomas was asleep most of the time, it was obvious that Wyn and Charlotte doted on their son and were the kind of
very loving parents that any child could wish for.
At the time of Thomas' diagnosis, Emma was already fighting her own battles and we were both weary and worn down by years of scans, X-rays, operations and broken dreams. To hear Wyn's news through Dermot and Lucy was devastating for both of us. As I've said before, I simply cannot imagine the pain of losing someone so precious, so young and innocent.
Please read Wyn and Charlottes moving tribute to Thomas, his picture says it all. It had me in tears last night at dinner...
"Our beautiful son Thomas was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer in October 2012 , a month before his second birthday. He went through 10 months of intensive treatment including months at a time spent in hospital and throughout this time - a few toddler tantrums aside (and who can blame him?!) - he was incredibly brave and tough.
Fortunately at the age of two, things could quickly be forgotten and attention can be diverted with an iPad, a train set or a cuddle. In particular he really loved music and singing along to nursery rhymes, and he really enjoyed children's programmes such as Thomas the Tank Engine, In the Night Garden and Raa Raa the Lion. He loved being in the fresh air, the playground and Bushy Park - even right up to the end he still insisted on going outside.
Tragically over time the cancer became more and more difficult to treat and despite this he was amazing and still managed to smile. He passed away on August 2nd 2013. He was incredibly brave right up to the end, we are immensely proud of him and will love him always xxxx "
So today's ride as we head for Milan is for you Thomas. The going is mostly flat so I promise to sing you some nursery rhymes today as we go along!
If I see Thomas the Tank Engine I will give him a wave for you and say hello