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When Simon Barney told Tamra Judge that he was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer, the former couple made it a priority to make sure their three children (daughter Sidney, 21, son Spencer, 19, and daughter Sophia, 14) were emotionally prepared to go through this battle with their father.
Tamra recently told PEOPLE that she and Simon took their kids to therapy to help them cope with this difficult time. “We wanted to find a way to get them through this the best way possible,” she said. “We were making sure that our kids are taken care of.”
Tamra and Simon went on to describe how each of their children has been handling the news of his cancer diagnosis. Simon told PEOPLE that Sophia has been supportive, but she mostly “doesn’t want to talk about it” and “doesn’t want to see me sick.”
Though Sidney has been checking in on Simon a lot, he said that he is "really protecting her" while she is away at college. Tamra added that Simon is making sure that Sidney "doesn’t get distracted.”
“She said, ‘Do you want me to get out of school and come home and help you?’" Simon recalled. "And I said, ‘Absolutely not! You’re staying in school. That’s not going to happen.'"
Spencer has been interested in obtaining information, according to Tamra. “He wanted to know specifics first, he’s more an old soul,” she said. “So he wanted to know where he’s going to be treated, who his doctor is. He’s just very clinical about it.”
Spencer, who had not really been on speaking terms with Simon since his divorce from Tamra in 2011, is now communicating with his father again. “He finally reached out to me the other day and just said, ‘Sorry, Dad. I just had to get a hold of it,’” Simon said. “It’s good because, I haven’t really talked to him in a while. But we’re getting there now.”
All in all, Simon's cancer battle has brought the whole family closer together. Sidney had also not been communicating with Tamra after her parents' divorce, but now they are back in contact. Simon has also been communicating more with Ryan Vieth, 34, Tamra's son from a previous relationship who also had a contentious relationship with his former stepfather in the past.
“The kids were split after the divorce and chose sides but, at the end of the day, none of that matters,” Tamra said. “All we have to do is rally together to make it through this.”
Simon said that he is also glad to see his family move forward in this more positive direction. “It’s kind of like a new beginning for me and my family,” he shared. “It’s really brought everyone closer together.”
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