School teacher star jumping to help find a cure for brain tumours

An Inverurie Academy teacher who has a son with a brain tumour, is raising funds to help find a cure for the disease.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:42 am
Jenna with her family.

Humanities teacher Jenna Jones, 39, is taking part in the 100 Star Jumps a Day in November challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. It’s after her son, Sebastian, seven, was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 15 months old.

Sebastian was referred to the paediatric ophthalmology team at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital when he was one, due to concerns about his vision because his eyes were squinting and wobbling.

Jenna said: “Sebastian then had an MRI scan which showed he had a small mass on his brain. I was filled with terror and fear, and the worst-case scenarios were going around my head. My husband, Adam, and I didn’t know anything about brain tumours, so we were faced with lots of unknowns.

Sebastian was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 15 months old.

“Fortunately, the hospital staff really reassured us and gave us lots of useful information.”

In January 2016, an MRI scan showed Sebastian’s tumour had ‘grown substantially’. A biopsy revealed he had an optic nerve glioma brain tumour, which is usually classified as a grade 1 pilocytic astrocytoma.

Jenna said: “Sebastian went through 18 months of chemotherapy. It is horrendous as a parent to watch your child going through this and you wish so often that you could take it away. However, despite losing his hair, being sick, and losing his appetite, Sebastian responded really well to the treatment.”

In August 2017, Sebastian was rushed back to hospital because a mass of fluid which had grown from the tumour was putting pressure on his brain. While inserting a drain to remove the fluid, surgeons managed to remove 80% of the tumour.

Jenna, also mum to Sophia, three, said: “I’m doing the star jumps challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research because research is so important in order for progress to happen.”

Matthew Price, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “It’s fantastic to have Jenna on board for this exciting new challenge, it’s really inspiring.”

To support Jenna’s fundraising, visit: www.facebook.com/donate/565870647963713/