THE classmates of a seven-year-old boy in need of a life-changing operation have been raising money for him with an all-day running relay.

Staff and pupils at Llantarnam Community Primary School, Cwmbran, took part in the relay to raise money for Lucas Rice,

who was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy – meaning that he cannot straighten his legs fully, and requires the help of a frame to walk.

He needs specialist corrective surgery called SDR, followed by a long course of intensive physiotherapy to help him walk.

However, this is not available on the NHS and the family needs to raise £40,000 for the treatment.

The latest event at the school saw pupils and staff take part in an all-day relay around the playing field.

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Lucas Rice (L) with his twin brother Joshua at Llantarnam Community Primary School.

Classes took it in shifts to run for an hour at a time. Lucas’ class started the relay, along with his parents Darren and Joanna.

Speaking at the fundraiser, Mr Rice said: “The fundraising is going well. It’s really picking up now. It’s events like this that have really helped. He has so many people behind him, especially at the school.

“Lucas will have his Gait analysis in Bristol [on Friday], and we hope after that he will get the go-ahead for his operation. We are hoping that he will be able to have his operation before the end of the year.

“The Gait analysis costs £2,000. It involves meeting physiotherapists and doctors, and he will have X-rays taken of his legs, hips and spine, and they will analyse his walk to see what he needs and whether he will be a viable candidate for the operation.”

Pete Biggins, Lucas’ teacher, said: “As we are doing our health and wellbeing week in school this week, we thought it would be a good idea to do a sponsored run for Lucas.

“It is nice to do it and go out and get some exercise. Hopefully we can raise a nice chunk of money for Lucas.

“They still have a long way to go and everyone is keen to help them out at the school. It is a nice community thing within the school and it is nice to get everybody working together.”

Lucas said: “I’d like to say thank you to the school and my friends for raising money. It means a lot to me.”

The total raised from the event currently stands at more than £500.