Steve Ryder, from Stainland, received the life-changing news after suffering a seizure while on a bike ride in July 2020.
“It was a tough race, but I noticed that I found it much more difficult than usual,” said the 52-year-old.
“After 45 minutes, I suddenly felt really weird, so I took an energy gel and started climbing another steep hill.
“About a quarter of a mile my mouth started to open and close on its own. I put my hand over my mouth to try and stop it, but the movement was involuntary and it continued.
“I stopped to rest by the side of the road but a few seconds later I started to adapt. I couldn’t speak and had lost all control of the movements of my arms and legs, but I was completely lucid in my thinking.
“It was really scary, because I had no idea what was going on.”
A passing motorist stopped and called an ambulance. Paramedics took Steve to Calderdale Royal Hospital where he underwent a CT scan.
Steve – who is stepfather to Josh, 27, Joseph, 15 and Caitilan, 17 – said: “Everyone was masked up due to Covid so I couldn’t read the doctors’ expressions. One of them told me bluntly that I had two brain tumors and two brain hemorrhages.
“I had prepared for bad news, but I never suspected brain tumours. It was as if the bottom had fallen out of my world. None of them reassured me that the tumors could be treated, and I assumed the worst.
Steve’s case was referred to the Leeds Center for Neurosciences at Leeds General Infirmary where the consultant neurosurgeon said the tumors were operable. He underwent surgery the same month and both were successfully removed.
Steve’s biopsy showed he had stage four melanoma. His brain tumors were secondary tumors, but no primary tumors had been identified.
He said: “It later transpired that I had received incorrect results from a histology report on a mole that had been removed from my chest in May 2018. After learning that the mole beauty was not cancerous, he was rescanned and indeed cancerous melanoma cells were discovered. This was very hard news to digest.”
In September 2020, Steve started an immunotherapy course at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. He will have another MRI scan in August and hopes his immunotherapy treatment next month will be his last.
In July 2020, Steve took sick leave from his job in IT for Lloyds Banking Group due to his seizures and to focus on his recovery. He returned to work part-time in April 2022. Since then he has raised £2,600 for brain tumor research through a Facebook fundraiser he set up for his birthday in December.
In August 2021, he raised £2,800 by taking part in the Brain Tumor Research charity Cycle 274 Mile Challenge in August. Now he’s taking the cycling challenge to raise more money.
“I just wanted to do something to give a little back, especially when I started reading the shocking stats,” said the avid cyclist.
“Brain tumors kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer. Yet historically, only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“I am taking on this challenge in memory of my good friend, Richard Walker. He was just 51 when he died of a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor on June 29 this year – just 14 months after he was first diagnosed. He left behind his partner, Sarah, and his son, Charlie.
Earlier this month, Steve completed the bike ride that was interrupted by the seizure two years ago.
“It was a milestone for me and I had butterflies in my stomach before I left,” he said. “When I stopped at the spot where I had collapsed, it was as alive as the day it happened.
“It made me grateful for all the help and support I received. I’m still here and still riding my bike, a lot of people aren’t that lucky.
Brain Tumor Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centers in the UK. He also campaigns for the government and major cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research to speed up new treatments for patients and ultimately find a cure.
Matthew Price, Community Development Manager at Brain Tumor Research, said: “We are truly grateful to Steve for taking on this challenge, as it is only with the support of people like him that we can move our research forward. on brain tumors and improve the outcome for patients like Steve who are forced to fight this terrible disease.
“Brain tumors are blind. They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and therefore increased investment in research is vital.