Running for their very own miracle
THE Portman family has a special reason for lacing up their joggers and hitting the pavement for the Mater Little Miracles 5km fun run this weekend - their precious eight-month-old miracle, Ethan.
Baby Ethan was not only born nine weeks premature, but also with the condition of craniosynostosis - the fusing together of the skull's bones too early.
"(Babies) are meant to have gaps between the bones until they're a toddler," mum Alecia said.
"Instead of his being separate plates, his back of his head is fused as one plate."
Mrs Portman said the effects of the condition could be severe, and it had left Ethan with an "odd-shaped" head that required surgery.
"It also can squash his brain - they can get a lot of pressure in (the head)," she said.
"That's why they have to do the surgery, to allow his brain to grow."
Mrs Portman said it would be a gruelling six-hour operation for their son, which they were looking to have performed in August at the Mater Hospital.
"They basically take his skull out and break it up, and mould a new skull with dissolvable plates and then put it all back in his head," she said.
The Portman family, including dad Anthony and seven-year-old Lily, along with family and friends, will participate in the fun run this Sunday, with Ethan right by their side.
"It's something really close to our hearts," Mrs Portman said.
"The Mater is looking after him and doing his operation.
"It's a bit of a thank-you (from) us."
Funds raised from the fun run will support the Mater's research programs.
- Pre-race entertainment and registration kicks off at 9am at Nielson Park, Bargara, with the walkathon starting at 10am.
- Costs are $10 per person for a team, $15 for individuals and $25 for families.
- Teams can also register online at materlittlemiracles5ks.org.au.