A dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour after his symptoms continued for months, leading him to mistake it for long Covid. Grant Churnin-Ritchie, 42, had been struggling with lethargy after catching Covid back in 2021. It wasn’t until a brain scan months later that he finally learned he had a pituitary tumour. Despite undergoing surgery only four months ago, he recently completed a half marathon in Leeds.
Grant, a Microsoft employee from Horsforth, said: “Even though surgeons removed the tumour, there is a 20 per cent chance of it growing back.
“I have an MRI scan in July so I should know more then. Because I only had two months to train for the race, I found it very hard to complete.
“Luckily, I had my wonderful family and friends cheering me on which got me through it.”
In 2021, Grant visited his GP several times after suffering from an “underlying lethargy” following a Covid infection in July of that year.
His doctor repeatedly told him he had long Covid, Leeds Live reported. He said: “This went on for several months, but I really didn’t feel well in myself and felt it was something more serious. I was so tired, and I was experiencing a tingling sensation in my arms.”
Doctors at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds gave Grant blood tests and an ECG, which revealed an abnormal heartbeat.
He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy – a disease of the heart muscle, and adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism, which are both linked to the pituitary gland.
It was during a visit to St James’s University Hospital that Grant was told it could be caused by Covid or a pituitary tumour.
Grand, who also coaches an under-15 football team in Horsforth, said: “An MRI scan confirmed it was a brain tumour which had probably been growing for 10 years.”
Grant has raised £2,500 so far but is hoping for more because Microsoft has said it will match his total.
Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Grant for taking on the Leeds Half Marathon as it’s only with the support of people like him that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like him who are forced to fight this awful disease.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.
It also campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.
The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
To donate to Grant’s fundraising page, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/grant-churnin-ritchie1
This story originally appeared on Express.co.uk