The Portsmouths of Rotorua will show their unity as a family when they put on their walking shoes this weekend.

Mum Julia, dad Ryan and their three children are taking part in the Rotorua Walking Festival to raise awareness and hopefully funds for a condition called hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid occurs within the brain. The Portsmouths' youngest child Nina was born at just 24 weeks and has hydrocephalus and chronic lung disease.

Julia Portsmouth said after five surgeries and seven months in hospital, Nina was given very low chances of survival.


"However together, our family, Nina and medical teams, we have been overcoming every obstacle on the way," Portsmouth said.

"This weekend's walk is a continuation of us as a family, facing this challenge together as it is not one person who goes through this alone, the whole family goes through it and united we are stronger.

"Myself, my oldest son Kaio and Nina, who will be on my back, will take on the 10km walk on Sunday. Ryan will stay with our 3-year-old but they will go around to a few spots to motivate us. We hope to raise awareness of the condition and that our charity is open to give support to everyone."

She said the ongoing support for the charity would help the family do a few projects including educational videos.

A Givealittle page, headed Hydrocephalus Awareness, has been set up to raise funds for Hydrocephalus New Zealand.

The Rotorua Walking Festival runs over Saturday and Sunday and features walks programmed for both days including the highly rated forest jaunts.

For more on the Portsmouth family go to

About the Walking Festival
What: A weekend of walks ranging in length from 5km to 42km.
Where: Around Rotorua
When: March 16 and 17
Cost: Varies.
Details: At