The Nowra-Albatross Vikings Australian Football Club is holding a special fundraising event this Saturday for one of its own.
Coinciding with the AFL NSW/ACT R U OK? Round the Vikings is also staging a special family fundraising day in aid of the Clark family at its home ground, West Street Oval.
Brad Clark, a long time Nowra Blues player and a foundation member of the merged Nowra-Albatross Vikings and his partner Peta Browne's young son Isaac is seriously ill and in need of a liver transplant.
Now six and a half months old, Isaac has spent more time in hospital than at home after it was discovered at his six-week check-up that he was born with biliary atresia, a life-threatening liver condition where the liver and bile ducts don't produce bile which is used to break down fats, meaning it just accumulates.
"Our doctor noticed Isaac was still jaundice, very yellow in the eyes, and sent us off for some blood tests," Brad said.
"The blood tests came back and we were rushed to Shoalhaven Hospital and then transferred to the children's hospital at Randwick."
Isaac underwent surgery and had a shunt inserted to attempt to stop the bile damaging his liver.
"We were told that at some stage he would require a transplant - it may be now or maybe later when he's older," he said.
"Unfortunately, that time has come a lot sooner than we had anticipated or hoped it would."
After spending three weeks at Randwick, Isaac was allowed to come home.
A constant array of ongoing tests followed and last week he had to again be taken to Shoalhaven Hospital and was later transferred to Randwick and then the liver ward at Westmead Children's Hospital.
"We've been told he needs a transplant as soon as possible or he may not survive," he said.
It's been hard on the family. Peta has been with Isaac, forgoing her job as an aged care nurse and supervisor at a group home, while Brad who is a contract food and beverage steward at HMAS Albatross and also has a second job as an aged care nurse, has had to go back to work.
We never expected or asked for this. The club just decided it was going to do something. It's amazing. We are so grateful. I cried when they told me.Brad Clark
"We don't know when a liver might become available, we just have to wait and be ready to go," he said.
"We're on the waiting list - it could be any time, any day, any week, we'll hopefully just get a call."
There is some good news, with Iaasc due to be transferred back to Shoalhaven Hospital on Wednesday, to be closer to family while waiting for a transplant and what will be an estimated 15-hour surgery.
"He laughs and does everything a normal six-month-old does - he's tough. I don't think he knows or realises how sick he is," Brad said.
That's where the Vikings have stepped in to try and help ease some of the financial burdens the family is experiencing.
The club has made a decision to combine its R U OK? Round as a fundraiser for the family this Saturday.
During and after the game the club will be raising money for the family to help in any way possible.
The club has a host of activities planned for the day including a jumping castle, kids activities where adults can be a part of, face painting, kick for cash, silent auction and raffle with all proceeds going to the family.
"I, we, never expected this," said Brad who has played for the Blues since 2004 and the Vikings since their inception in 2016.
"We didn't ask for help. The club just decided it was going to do something.
'We are pretty proud and didn't want to ask for anything and were just doing things ourselves and the club just stepped up.
"It's been amazing. Awesome. We are so grateful. I cried when they told me.
"We didn't realise we had so much support - but that's what a good clubs does, they get around you, it's just like a family."
The activities at West Street Oval start at 12noon. The Vikings' women's team play Ulladulla at 12.30pm followed by the men at 2:30pm against Bomaderry.
If anyone would like to support the day and the family or make a donation they can contact the club through Bianca Smith on 0409 203230.