He has the winning smile of a healthy, happy kid.
But for all of his tremendous spirit, underneath it all Archer Irwin’s reality is far from rosy.
The Wodonga boy of course is no different to any other kid who wants to play sport, to get outside with some mates and have some fun.
Yes, he just wants to be like any other seven-year-old.
It’s because Archer needs a liver transplant.
Until that happens, Archer will continue to struggle with poor health, all of this the result of an illness detected when he was a baby.
The condition, known as alpha one antitrypsin deficiency, affects both his liver and lungs.
It has meant one round of often debilitating treatment after another, the kind of life no parent would even want to imagine for their child.
Archer’s family has lived with that uncertainty over might happen for their “cheeky” boy, who himself is wise to what he is going through.
His mum, Nikki, spoke of her heartbreak about this, as well as the sadness that also comes with knowing that for Archer to find good health relies on an organ transplant, for someone else to die so he can live.
As she says, “our hearts continually get shattered every time Arch has to go through horrible treatments. Hearing him not want to be part of this world anymore, commenting at seven years old that ‘this is no way to live Mum’.”
The Irwins’ message is one we should all take on board and not only think about it but find some way to act.
And that is to not shy away from the desperate need for organ donation.
It’s not just for Archer’s sake but everyone else in the community going through what Nikki calls “the trauma of waiting”.
Organ donation is something we all should give much greater consideration.
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