Hello from the middle of the night again.  Well, 5am to be precise – so we’re well past the middle of the night.

Hello from the early hours of Sunday morning.

Without wanting to tempt fate – I think the antibiotics are working and the infection around my stomach tube is clearing up.  However, as one area of pain eases, another blooms.  Things are obviously getting worse inside my throat as my lower right gums are starting to swell and hurt.

The lump itself is practically pulsing with pain as I write this (maybe a touch over dramatic, but it’s cool alliteration so I’ll leave it in).

The big news is – we’ve made the news!  The front page, to be precise.  The front page of the Rossendale Free Press, no less…


I haven’t taken a picture of the full story on page four, as I suspect it may be difficult to read on a screen, but here’s how the story ran on the Rossendale Free Press website…

An award winning writer has launched a blog after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

Tommy Donbavand, 48, from Stacksteads, has already received support from thousands of people around the world as he battles illness.

The father-of-two currently writes The Bash Street Kids for the Beano comic and is the creator of the CBBC animated series Scream Street.

Tommy, who lives with wife Kirsty and sons Arran and Sam, said he decided to write his blog to share details of his diagnosis and upcoming treatment, and his fears and worries about the future.

He said: “A few people suggested I start a blog so friends and relatives could keep up with how I’m progressing.

“I thought the blog might be therapeutic for me, and something I could hopefully look back at a year or two down the line to remind me of what I’ve come through, so for it to have resonated with so many people, who have taken the time to contact me and send me well-wishes is incredibly touching.

“It’s both heartwarming and humbling to know that people in the children’s book industry are rallying around behind me like this.

“My wife Kirsty has been wonderful in looking after me despite her own poor health with Crohn’s disease.”

Tommy Donbavand’s blog logo Tommy v Cancer

Tommy’s friend Barry Hutchinson, who helped him set up the site, said the response to his blog has been incredible.

He said: “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and Tommy has been able to put into words what many sufferers may not be able to express themselves.”

After Tommy, who lives on Acre View, wrote about how the illness and aggressive treatment plan have left his family facing financial difficulties, the site’s visitors were quick to rally to his aid. So far more than 60 people – many complete strangers – have become ‘patrons’ of Tommy via, sponsoring him on a monthly basis in return for exclusive written content.

Other top authors are also getting behind Tommy, who has written several official Dr Who comics and novels, with many offering to donate fees from their speaking events to help ease his money troubles during his gruelling treatment and recovery.

You can follow the ups and downs of Tommy’s battle with cancer at

You can read the article on the RFP website here:

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Like many children's authors, the large portion of Tommy's income comes from holding speaking events and writing workshops in schools - two things he is currently unable to do. It's not all doom and gloom, though. Tommy is still delivering great writing advice - and lots of other stuff, too - via Patreon. From just $1 (about 70p) per month, you can get access to this completely exclusive content AND help Tommy through this difficult time. Sign up now!  Just click on the button below for more details. Your inbox will thank you for it!

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