British swimmer Archie Goodburn diagnosed with inoperable brain tumours

British swimmer Archie Goodburn diagnosed with inoperable brain tumours

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British swimmer Archie Goodburn has revealed he has been diagnosed with inoperable brain tumours.

Tests conducted after this year’s Olympic trials found the 22-year-old, who won bronze in the men’s 50m breaststroke at the 2019 World Junior Swimming Championships in Hungary and has represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, has three large oligodendrogliomas – a rare form of diffuse and progressive brain cancer – which cannot be operated on.

Goodburn wrote in a post on his official Instagram account: “Six weeks ago, my life experienced a profound change as I was diagnosed with three brain tumours.

“In December 2023, my training began to be interrupted by strange episodes. These episodes, initially thought to be hemiplegic migraines, would occur during hard training.

“They would leave me with a loss of strength and a numb sensation on my left side, a deep feeling of fear, nausea and extreme deja vu. I now know that these were in fact seizures.

“The seizures grew in intensity and frequency in the lead-up to the 2024 Olympic trials in April, something I’d aimed for and trained for almost my entire life.

“I was determined on achieving my dreams, so I continued to train on through the seizures. I narrowly missed the Olympic team by just a few tenths of a second, placing third in an event with only two spots.

“With the trials behind me, I dug deeper into what was really causing these attacks. An MRI in May finally revealed what I’d begun to fear the most.”

Archie Goodburn won junior World Championship bronze in 2019
Archie Goodburn won junior World Championship bronze in 2019 (Getty Images)

The Scottish breaststroker finished third behind Adam Peaty and James Wilby in the 100 metres at the British trials.

While surgery would have been the preferred option, Goodburn is hopeful that radiotherapy and chemotherapy will prove effective.

He added: “The silver lining to this diagnosis is that oligodendrogliomas generally respond better to radiotherapy and chemotherapy than many other serious brain tumour types. They are often slow-growing and these tumours are likely years old.

“I am young, I am fit, I have the most phenomenal support network of friends, the best family I could ever hope for and a fantastic girlfriend by my side.

“I am determined to take this head-on, to remain positive and to keep being Archie.”

PA

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