Tom left Balshaw's Church of England High School in 2001.

Tom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1999, aged 14, and wrote these poems while awaiting a bone marrow transplant.

He studied literature and drama at university.




When you’re tired and weary,
And things don’t go your way,
And people take for granted that
They’ll see another day.


When you’re so afraid,
That tears burn your eyes,
When you ask important questions,
But never get replies.


When you haven’t got the answers,
And don’t know what to do.
When you don’t deserve what’s happening.
So why’s it happening to you?


When people think they know,
How you feel deep down inside,
And you say you’re not afraid,
When you’re really petrified.


When you think there is no heaven,
And feel like you’re in hell,
When you can’t recall at all
What it feels like to be well.


When everyone has left you,
Except a certain few.
It’s all right to be afraid
‘Cos cowards get cancer too.


Sometimes when I’m alone at night
I’ll try to get away
From all the pain and sickness
That I feel during the day


But it’s hard
And scary thoughts still filter through
My mind
And I’m looking for some answers
Which I know I’ll never find


I try to make the effort
Even though I feel bad
And I try to keep on smiling
Even though inside I’m sad


But it’s hard when scary thoughts
Filter through my mind
Looking long and hard for answers
I know I’ll never find


And I try to keep my faith
With a God I cannot see
And every night I pray
But he doesn’t answer me


It’s hard when scary thoughts
Filter through your head
Don’t bother looking for answers
Think happy thoughts instead.

His first play, Risky & Fluke, won the Sunday Times NSDF Award and recently finished a tour of Europe

His radio play Things To Do Before You Die was aired on BBC Radio 4 to great acclaim

Tom is also currently engaged in co-writing (with Mark Catley) some episodes of Casualty for the BBC.