In late 2015 and early 2016, Donbavand wrote several stories for the Doctor Who Adventures magazine.
In March 2016, Donbavand was diagnosed with cancer, forcing him to stop writing and be hospitalised.  In July, Obverse Books published a charity anthology of Doctor Who-themed short stories called A Target for Tommy to raise money for Donbavand. Many notable Doctor Who writers contributed to the collection, including Paul Magrs, Stephen Cole, Paul Cornell, and Daniel Blythe. 
After his recovery from throat cancer, Donbavand was then diagnosed with a tumour in his lung. Obverse Books released a second charity anthology, A Second Target for Tommy, in February 2018 which included the exclusive publication of the Christopher Eccleston draft scene by Steven Moffat for The Day of the Doctor.
Donbavand died from his cancer on 14 May 2019. The Target Storybook was dedicated to his memory, as was the Big Finish Doctor Who audio anthology Time Apart, which included a story written by Donbavand, What Lurks Down Under, recorded and released post-mortem.
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- Tommy Donbavand, children's writer and entertainer with a gift for making people laugh – obituary. The Telegraph (20 May 2019). Retrieved on 27 October 2019.
- Tommy V Cancer
- Tommy vs Cancer
- Obverse Books: A Target for Tommy
- Obverse Books: A Second Target for Tommy. Obverse Books (8 February 2018). Retrieved on 9 February 2018.