If you know anything about Luke McDonald, there’s one thing stands out most – his unconditional love for family.
Whether it be his North Melbourne brothers at Arden Street or his more immediate family at home, the 22-year-old is fiercely protective of, and passionate about them all.
It’s for that reason, McDonald has taken up a cause close to his heart, after seeing his uncle Paul almost lose his life had it not been for a liver transplant.
“It was touch and go there for a while. He had to wait a year to get the transplant … if he didn’t get it, he was going to die,” McDonald explained.
The older brother of McDonald’s father, Donald, Paul was lucky enough to receive a transplant in time.
“You’re always nervous because there aren’t enough donors so it’s not like there are available livers coming up every day. Then when one is available, it has to be suitable in terms of blood type,” McDonald added.
“It was probably more nerve-racking when he got the new liver, because we had to wait to see if everything was going to go all right.
“I remember going into hospital to see him and I would talk to him for hours.
“He’s got two young daughters and a wife and he’s really the rock of the family. It was really important that he got that liver.
“It’s given him another chance at life. He’s reconnected with so many people and even my own relationship with him has gone to another level through the experience.”
As an ambassador for the Organ and Tissue Authority, McDonald is spreading the word and hoping to encourage more people to “Donate Life”.
“The biggest thing is convincing everyone that’s comfortable, to sign up and register to be a donor,” he said.
“I think one person can save up top ten lives with all the various organs so it’s vital that we all consider it and do it.
“At the end of the day, we’re all human. Whether you’re in a car accident or you’re involved in an accident playing footy, we might all need that help at one point in time or another.”