Clearys go with green to highlight disease

Remembering Archer: Jane Cleary and son Jackson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423482
Remembering Archer: Jane Cleary and son Jackson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d423482

Created by the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, the team raises awareness of mitochondrial disease and money towards research for a cure through people taking part in a wide range of sports and community activities.

The disease affects the mitochondria of cells so they cannot effectively produce energy the body needs to sustain life.

Children diagnosed with the disease usually do not live past their teenage years and there is no cure.

In 2013, the Clearys lost their son Archer to the disease. He was just seven months old.

Mrs Cleary said he was born with liver problems, was profoundly deaf and by five months was continually losing weight.

‘No one could work out why,’ she said.

‘He had a team of specialists but it was the metabolic doctor who first suspected he may have mitochondrial disease.

‘He was fine for a few weeks but one day he got sick.

‘We took him back to PMH and all his systems began to shut down. Several hours later at 11.45pm that night he passed away.’

Mrs Cleary said fortunately many samples of Archer’s tissue and urine samples were previously taken for his liver condition.

‘Thanks to that we were able to establish a positive diagnosis for mitochondria disease, which we got about 12 months after he passed away as the testing could only be done in the Netherlands,’ she said.

‘When my husband and I left the hospital on April 26 after he died we pretty much decided from then on we wanted to do something to help.’

Following the success of last year’s run, the Clearys are almost kitted up for this year’s run on August 31.

‘Archer’s dad Dave is taking on a personal challenge of running the 21km half marathon,’ she said. ‘It isn’t bad for someone who could only run the length of a cricket pitch.’

Jackson said he was looking forward to the run. This year, the Clearys’ target is $7000, a thousand for each month of Archer’s life.

For more information, visit https://team