When Wagga's Rex Flores made the pledge on Friday to be declared an Australian citizen, it was a day that at one point seemed unlikely.
He was one of 43 people from 20 countries to receive citizenship across two Wagga ceremonies yesterday.
Mr Flores moved to Wagga in 2012 from the Philippines as a meat worker, but became ill five years ago and required a kidney transplant.
Accessing a transplant looked impossible without Medicare benefits until Wagga Rotary and the wider community decided to step in, raising funds to facilitate the operation.
Mr Flores then faced another challenge, as he was no longer able to work the same job and therefore could not extend his visa.
Wagga Rotary's Graeme Callendar was concerned Mr Flores would not have access to affordable medication in the Philippines, and lobbied the government to find some way to keep him in Australia.
In 2016, Mr Flores was granted permanent residency.
Mr Flores said he was very appreciative of the Wagga community for welcoming him and supporting him through the years and it was a special day for him.
"Australia and Wagga gave me a second chance, this is my second life," he said.
"I'm really happy they accept me in the community, it's really a good thing for me to start a new life here."
Mr Flores now works in a local restaurant and will soon complete an assistant in nursing course to work in aged care.
Mr Callendar, who attended the ceremony with Mr Flores, said it was "brilliant" to see him finally receive citizenship.
"You couldn't get a better Aussie," he said.