Alphabet Soup – Making a Wish for Tommy Donbavand

Nick Cross writes:
If you read my blog post yesterday, you’ll know that I’m taking Alphabet Soup down to a fortnightly schedule in order to better balance my workload. But I couldn’t let this week go by without a shout out to Soup contributor Tommy Donbavand, who recently announced on Facebook that he has been diagnosed with cancer. I probably could have picked a more sombre photo, but this one is so Tommy.

Here's Tommy's public Facebook post:

Hello online friends. I'm afraid I've got some bad news to share… I've got cancer.

Many of you will know that my health hasn't been the best for the past few years. Since before Christmas, I’ve been battling what my doctor first thought was mumps and, later, an ongoing throat infection. Today I was diagnosed with throat cancer - although I will be undergoing further tests tomorrow as the consultants believe it may have started elsewhere in my body and recently spread to my throat.

Why am I announcing this awful news online? Well, I’m going to have to cancel a lot of school, library and festival events over the coming months - and I’d prefer that everyone knew the real reason for my doing so, rather than listen to any rumours or whispers that may arise as a result of trying to keep my illness a secret.

My wife, Kirsty, and our two sons are obviously very upset - but we’re determined to meet this challenge head on. There’s no way I’m going to lie down and simply give in to this thing. I’m going to fight the bastard all the way.


This is seriously crappy news, especially since Tommy is such a great writer and first-rate fun guy to be around. I don't know if my wishes can help, but I'm sending one his way in the hope it might:

Tommy, I wish you a speedy recovery - may you come out of this stronger, fitter and more funny than ever!


Edit: Tommy has certainly come out fighting! Here's a website he's set up to chart his battle:


  1. love the picture! especially the wand, keep fighting and don't give up, hugs xxx

  2. Down with cancer. Thinking of you, Tommy.


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.