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Goalkeeper Says Brain Tumor Made Him Grow Tall And Gave Him Huge Hands

His hands were also large for his age and his ''fingers would swell up like a pack of large sausages.
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A man was turned into a semi-pro goalkeeper by an undiagnosed brain tumor – which made him grow to 6 foot, 6 inches and develop large hands.


Tom Mayor, 34, was always lofty as a child but put it down to genetics as his family are also tall. His hands were also large for his age and his fingers would swell up like a pack of large sausages.


Because of his height and big hands, Tom became a semi-pro goalie and played for Northampton Town F.C and Leicester City Football Club Youth Academy.


He was working as a footie coach in the US in 2014 when he started suffering migraines and a scan revealed he had an undetected brain tumor. Tom was also found to have a rare growth hormone disorder known as acromegaly – made famous by the James Bond villain Jaws.


Doctors believe the undetected tumor had probably caused the acromegaly – which had caused him to be so tall and have large hands. Tom is marking a decade since his first surgery by completing 10km (32808.4 feet) of running, walking, swimming and cycling every day for 10 months for Brain Tumour Research.


“I was always taller than my friends but never freakishly tall, my brother is 6’2 so is my dad. My hands were large for my age and my fingers would swell up like a pack of large sausages. I was a goalkeeper and a very active child who got into a lot of accidents – but it was part of growing up! Never anything unusual,” said Tom, of Wallingford, Oxfordshire.


“I’ve always been tall which I put down to my family genes however, doctors told me my height was probably spurred on by the tumour. Tom recalls his active childhood with fond memories – as he admits never thinking anything of his height,” he added.


Tom, now an NHS program manager, says his sporty upbringing meant he was kicked a lot and suffered multiple concussions. Ten years ago he developed a headache he describes as feeling like a ‘hangover’ – then diagnosed with a pituitary tumor.


“I have never had a hangover because I’ve always had this headache. The only way to describe it is like a pressure headache pressing by my eyes, like a constant push right on my forehead – it’s there 24/7 seven days a week and I have had that for 10 years,” said Tom, who was coaching football in the US at the time.


“All the medical professionals I have spoken to say I might have it for the rest of my life – a real kicker. It was annoying, I took some tablets and it wouldn’t go away, I couldn’t sleep – I thought it was weird, wondering what it is and just trying to figure it out,” he added.


“Because the tumor lies on his pituitary gland it was either dialing up or dialing down hormones which the pituitary was producing,” explained Tom.


He was told he was probably born with the tumor, which gave him acromegaly.


“You either get it at birth and you always have an obvious large body part, or around your growth spurt age. But because I had a tumor, the doctors said I had probably had it from birth – if they had tested my growth hormone as a kid we would have known,” said Tom.


At some point Tom will have radiotherapy, which he says will kill everything  and from that point, he will have to manage the tumor. His first surgery removing part of the tumor has left him with diabetes insipidus – an excessive thirst that without medication means he can drink up to 20 liters a day.


“I now drink about nine to ten liters a day but with no medication, it’s nineteen to twenty liters a day – if I drink for thirst I will be forever drinking,” he said.


Tom is marking a decade since his first surgery by completing 10km (32808.4 feet) of movement every day for 10 months in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research. His challenge will include running, cycling, swimming and any other method each day for that length of distance until October.


“I am not one to sit on my arse and think how tough my life has been – I call it my tumorversary because I celebrate the fact, I got my diagnosis because I wouldn’t be who I am now,” said Tom.


“If people could get diagnosed and treated earlier they wouldn’t have to go through this, whatever brain tumor it might be – they are all horrible and debilitate your life in some way – awareness is what you need and if i can do a little bit to raise awareness, that is great,” he added.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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