MIGHTY MAX'S MAGIC MO­MENT

Why this Ip­swich young­ster onto the field Fri­day night

The Queensland Times - - FRONT PAGE - Page 7

IT’S a mo­ment all young Ip­swich rugby league play­ers dream about but few get to live.

Stand­ing in Sun­corp Sta­dium, min­utes be­fore kick-off, thou­sands of ded­i­cated fans look­ing on as some of the league’s top play­ers stream onto the field.

That’s how Max Bishop spent his Fri­day night.

He brought the match ball onto the field.

“It was so cool,” Max, 11, said.

“You don’t usu­ally get a re­ac­tion out of me but . . . it was re­ally good.”

Last year Max, a promis­ing and ded­i­cated young ath­lete, played his last game of rugby league for Broth­ers at the sea­son grand fi­nal.

The young­ster needed a liver trans­plant.

He had a rare van­ish­ing bile duct syn­drome which meant only 12% of the ducts in his liver were work­ing prop­erly.

Now, 10 months af­ter his suc­cess­ful trans­plant op­er­a­tion, Max is in re­mis­sion and do­ing well. He has be­come a bit of a poster boy for or­gan do­na­tion on the rugby league scene.

In July, the Na­tional Rugby League an­nounced a life-sav­ing part­ner­ship with DonateLife, a gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion work­ing to im­prove or­gan do­na­tion across the coun­try to save peo­ple just like Max.

When Max was still sick, Pen­rith Pan­thers player Josh Man­sour called him per­son­ally and on Fri­day night the pair met.

Max’s mother Caro­line said Josh had re­ally wanted to meet Max, who went down to say hello af­ter he came off the field.

“Max is quite re­served and doesn’t of­ten get ex­cited,” Caro­line said.

“But he came off the field with a mas­sive smile on his face.”

NRL chief ex­ec­u­tive Todd Green­berg praised a brave and de­ter­mined Max, and urged peo­ple to con­sider be­com­ing an or­gan donor.

“Be­com­ing a donor is sim­ple, takes less than a minute to regis­ter online and in do­ing so, you could lit­er­ally trans­form the lives of 10 or more peo­ple,” Mr Green­berg said.

“The NRL is proud to part­ner with DonateLife to help pro­mote their life-sav­ing mes­sage and it was great to see Max front and cen­tre be­fore the Bron­cos and Pan­thers match.

“I wish Max and his fam­ily well and I hope he gets to at­tend a lot more rugby league games in the fu­ture.

“His courage is an in­spi­ra­tion to all of us.”

■ Did you know you can now regis­ter your do­na­tion de­ci­sion in­stantly online? Go to donatelife.gov.au.

PHOTO: MAIN: DAVID NIELSEN, INSET: NRL

FLASH­BACK: Broth­ers ju­nior rugby league player Max Bishop the day he played his last game of rugby league in Au­gust 2016. INSET: Max with Bron­cos care­taker cap­tain Adam Blair and Pan­thers cap­tain Pe­ter Wal­lace on the field at Fri­day's match at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

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