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Couple raising money for Cwmbran school that transformed son’s life

A couple are raising money for a Cwmbran school that transformed their son’s life.

Nathan Jenkins, 16, was diagnosed with epilepsy at 18 months and on some days he suffered over ten seizures. Doctors also treated him for autism, ADHD, severe learning difficulties and mood instability. They then found a rare brain tumour at the age of five and his left temporal lobe was removed with his family being warned he would be unlikely to walk or talk. But he proved his clinicians wrong and has been a pupil at Crownbridge School in Cwmbran since the age of six.

a six year old boy in a wheelchair
(Photo: Lorraine Hughes)

Mum, Lorraine and stepdad Gareth Hughes, from Abergavenny, are so grateful for what the school’s staff have done for Nathan, they are running the Cardiff Half Marathon to raise money. Lorraine told Cwmbran Life her son “thrived” at Crownbridge and this was shown by him passing his GCSE entry level maths.

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She said: “The school has seen him at his absolute worst and his absolute best. They love Nathan. If it wasn’t for that school he wouldn’t be in the position he is now. He’s like most 16-year-olds. He walks, talks, WhatsApp” and then she joked “and he mouths me back.”

three young boys, brothers, smile for a photo
Nathan with his brothers, Ashton and Joshua (Photo: Lorraine Hughes)

The pair are helping the school raise money for a minibus and sensory equiptment: “You wouldn’t believe how amazing the school is. He’s a bit of a miracle child. The clinicians never thought he would be able to thrive, to have a quarter of your brain taken out and function in this way.”

On the couple’s JustGiving page Lorraine says: “So, here’s the deal: our son, Nathan, is an absolute rockstar. A real-life superhero who defeated a rare brain tumour and has achieved more than anyone, including his doctors, ever imagined. He’s the reason we’re shedding our comfy couch-potato status and hitting the pavement to show our appreciation and help his school (Crownbridge Special School) continue to provide the support and resources that helped him defy all expectations.”

Lorraine has run the Cardiff Half Marathon before but now describes herself as the “Queen of Netflix, hot tub and chill”. Gareth used to be a regular runner and was featured in the media after running 31 marathons in 31 days for charity during 2017. Lorraine said:  “He’s determined to brush off the cobwebs and prove that he still has what it takes to conquer the Cardiff half marathon.”

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Couple raising money for Cwmbran school that transformed son’s life

a mum and dad with their son holding a certificate
Nathan collects his GCSE entry level maths certificate with his mum and stepdad (Photo: Lorraine Hughes)