Nathan’s Need: local boy battling rare brain tumor

13-year-old Nathan Brumbaugh started the school year as a happy 8th grader in Berkeley County, but that quickly changed when he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor typically found in kids half his age.

Nathan’s mother, Tonya Brumbaugh, says, “We promise him every day that we’re not going to give up and we don’t want him to give up, and every time he cries and begs why him? We say we don’t know why him but we are going to try to find a cure and somebody to try to help him.”

Nathan was first diagnosed with the brain tumor in August when his parents noticed he was acting strange.

His father, Thomas Brumbaugh, says, “He just couldn’t walk a straight line and we couldn’t figure out why.”

In just three months Nathan has gone from a baseball playing, dirt bike riding, video gaming kid to hardly being able to speak to his parents.

Thomas says, “He has trouble with his speech, he has trouble walking, he has double vision.”

Nathan’s tumor is called a DIPG and is in an area of the brain that connects to the brain stem, which doctors say means it’s inoperable.

Thomas says, “Usually there is a very low success rate of treating it, but we are trying to do what we can to find someone to help.”

The family has traveled to hospitals in Texas and Massachusetts, but neither one had treatments that would work. Nathan is on lists for clinical trials and meeting with specialists. Bags are packed and ready to go as soon as the phone rings.

Tonya says, “We’re sitting here everyday waiting for somebody to call and say ‘I can help you’, or at least to give him at least a little bit more quality of life.”

The family does have a GoFundMe page set up for Nathan. His parents say that money is waiting for a specialist to call, and they will use the funds as soon as there is a treatment that could work for Nathan.

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