British Swimmer Archie Goodburn Diagnosed With Inoperable Brain Tumours

Archie Goodburn
Archie Goodburn: Photo Courtesy: Morgan Harlow/British Swimming

British Swimmer Archie Goodburn Is Diagnosed With Inoperable Brain Tumours

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

Goodburn, who was ninth in both the 50 and 100m breaststroke while representing Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, had an MRI scan shortly after the British Olympic trials in April at which he finished third in the 100m breaststroke behind Adam Peaty and James Wilby.

That followed what he later realised were seizures which resulted in a loss of strength and a numb sensation on his left side that had started in December 2023 and increased in intensity and frequency leading up to the trials.

The Edinburgh University swimmer posted to social media, revealing that he had been diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, “an extremely rare form of incurable, diffuse and progressive brain cancer.”

Goodburn said:

“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.”

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.”

Aquatics GB posted a message of support, saying: “We know he will face treatment with the same energy, determination and spirit that defines him as such a brilliant athlete and person. Archie, Aquatics GB is behind you every step of the way.”

There were also messages from present and past swimmers including Siobhan O’Connor, Daniel Wiffen, Caspar Corbeau and Lani Pallister.

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