Tommy Donbavand is a writer, husband, and father. He’s contributed to The Beano, written countless children’s books and is the author of Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow.
Now, he needs your help as he fights cancer for the second time.
“On Thursday, 10th of March 2016, I returned home from a hospital appointment and broke the news to my wife and children. I had throat cancer. Stage four. Inoperable,” he explains over at the Tommy V Cancer blog he set up after receiving his first diagnosis of cancer.
Unsurprisingly, Tommy’s cancer changed his life completely and had a massive effect on his physical and mental health. As he writes over at his blog, he lost over 13 stones in under a single year, became incredibly weak, found himself confined to a hospital bed in his living room, and when he did try to make it up the stairs in his house, fell and broke a rib. He also began to suffer with lymphedema and trismus (a form of lockjaw), and developed a severe stoop.
The cancer also affected his ability to make a living, as he further explains:
“I could no longer visit schools to teach creative writing and talk about my work as an author. I missed book deadlines and was forced to drop out of several projects. Due to of all this, I began to struggle financially and could no longer properly support my family. We were living on disability benefit, but didn’t qualify for help with rent or council tax because the carer’s allowance my wife received for looking after me full time took us three or four pounds over the threshold. All this caused me to sink into a deep depression, and I began to have weekly counselling sessions just to keep going. Thankfully I had some wonderfully supportive people around me: my wife, Kirsty; my two amazing sons, Arran and Sam; my brother and sister and their families; plus scores of friends around the world.”
There was light at the end of the tunnel however, when Tommy was eventually declared cancer-free.
“For the first time in almost two years I was looking forward to the future,” he writes over at his blog, “I’d done it. I’d beaten cancer.”
Then, just before Christmas 2017, Tommy was told that his cancer had returned, except that this time it was in his left lung.
It look like he’s got another fight on his hands.
It’s a fight that we all can help with, by donating money via Tommy’s crowdfunding page over at JustGiving. The money raised goes to help support his family: writing for a living can be a tough, if pleasurable, experience, and that’s when you’re cooking on gas; when you’re low, it can feel impossible to carry on. But we can help. We can also support him by buying his books, including Tommy V Cancer: One Man’s Battle Against The Big C, which is a warts-and-all account of his experience of throat cancer leavened by flashes of humour.
Good luck, Tommy, from all at the DWC!