Little Kaije's big battle

KAIJE Archer's calm demeanour and cheeky smile offer no hint of the health hurdles that he and his family have endured.

The Youngtown 15-month-old was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome, and is at the Launceston General Hospital for four-hour protein infusions three days a week.

Kaije's father, Greg Archer, said his son's kidneys filtered an excessive amount of a protein called albumin, which caused his body to swell, weakened his immune system and could eventually lead to kidney failure.

``Looking at him you wouldn't know, but if he doesn't have the albumin transfusions, he tends to get a lot of fluid retention on his body, and puffs up, and becomes quite sick,'' Mr Archer said.

 Kaije's condition meant he was small for his age, but when he reached 10 kilograms he would go on the wait list for a kidney transplant.

``He's 7.9 kilograms at the moment, but he's been on that for about 2sfr1/2 to three months,'' Mr Archer said.

Kaije's grandmother, Robyn Butterworth, was taking tests to see if she could donate one of her kidneys.

Mr Archer said the thrice-weekly LGH visits took their toll, but they were grateful to be home after spending the first four months of Kaije's life in Melbourne.

He said that he and Kaije's mother, Katelyn Boon, wanted to share their story in support of Give Me Five for Kids, which raises funds for the  LGH  children's ward.

Mr Archer said it was good to have care close to home.

``It was very exciting to come back from Melbourne _  we'd almost forgotten what our house looked like,''  he said.

``We've probably had about 110 admissions here.''

The LGH's Give Me Five for Kids wish-list for 2014 includes replacement and additional monitors for the neonatal nursery, a replacement infant resuscitation cot for the birth unit, minor works in the children's ward to develop a high dependency area, and a new ultrasound unit for paediatrics.

For more information on Give Me Five for Kids, or to donate, visit http://www.giveme5forkids.com.au/.

Kaije Archer with parents Greg Archer and and Katelyn Boon, of Youngtown.

Kaije Archer with parents Greg Archer and and Katelyn Boon, of Youngtown.

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