Making Memories

After young son’s terminal diagnosis, Washougal officer, family enjoy life one day at a time

Declan Reagan and his father, Washougal Police Officer Francis Reagan (right) visit the Kualoa Ranch, in Kahaluu, Hawaii, with Declan's brother, Adrian, and mother, Lauren. Make a Wish Oregon paid for the family's six-day trip in February, which included seeing the movie sets of "Jurassic World" and its upcoming sequel, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom." Declan, 5, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

Declan Reagan (right) and his father, Francis, mother, Lauren, and brother, Adrian, enjoy some quality family time making s'mores at a campfire by Skamania Lodge, in Stevenson. The Reagan family spent a night in one of the lodge's treehouses in January. Declan, 5, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May of 2016. (Contributed photo courtesy of the Reagan family)

The young son of a Washougal police officer, who has been battling cancer off and on for two years, recently visited the movie sets of “Jurassic World” and its sequel, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” thanks to the Make a Wish Oregon program.

Declan Reagan, 5, of East Vancouver, and his twin brother, Adrian, love dinosaurs. Make a Wish Oregon provided a trip to Hawaii for the brothers and their parents, Francis and Lauren Reagan last month. Francis has worked for the Washougal Police Department since 2014.

Make a Wish covered the family’s airfare, meals and lodging at Aulani, a Disney resort in Ko Olina. Declan said he loved seeing the movie sets on the family’s six-day trip, as well as spotting whales while on a catamaran dinner cruise, meeting Mickey Mouse and Stitch and floating on the lazy river at Aulani.

Declan was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the spring of 2016. Since then, he has spent 251 nights in the hospital.

His leukemia relapsed a year later and Declan was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in April of 2017.

He had his first bone marrow transplant in July of 2017, but his cancer returned again three months later.

Lauren said the transplant team at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, in Portland, moved forward with a targeted treatment in November, but the cancer did not respond.

Declan went back into the hospital in December for an aggressive round of chemotherapy, which damaged his liver after four days.

“These drugs are designed for adults,” Lauren explained. “A child’s body struggles with these intense drugs.”

Declan received a second bone marrow transplant two months ago, in January, but his cancer returned again. When he left the hospital, he and his family stayed one night in a treehouse at Skamania Lodge, in Stevenson.

Declan has been receiving hospice care at home. This weekend, he and his mother will travel to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee, where there will be some additional testing to see if Declan is approved for a clinical trial.

“He can start on Tuesday, if he is approved,” Lauren said, Friday. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is scheduled to be released on June 22.

“We are hopeful that Declan will live long enough to see his favorite movie,” Lauren said, adding that her young son is in great spirits and happy to be home with his family, especially his twin, Adrian.

“They are up often late at night, playing with all their dinosaur toys,” Lauren said. “Making fun memories is one of our top priorities for our little dinosaur.”

Blood drives help local patients

Twice a week, Declan receives blood and platelet transfusions at PeaceHealth Southwest Family Birth Center, in Vancouver.

“Without these transfusions, we would have lost Declan weeks ago,” Lauren said. “His cancer is preventing his body from being able to produce his own blood products.”

A continuous supply of donated blood and platelets is vital for Declan and other cancer patients.

Bloodworks Northwest supplies blood to all Legacy and Providence hospitals in Oregon, as well as to all Clark, Cowlitz and Lewis County hospitals in Washington.

Bloodworks Northwest blood drives will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.), Monday, March 19, at the Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), at Legacy Medical Group — Fisher’s Landing, 16703 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Suite. 120, Vancouver.

Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-398-7888 or visit www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/locations/vancouver.

For more information about Declan’s cancer fight, visit www.facebook.com/DeclantheDinosaur.