Fueling the Fight against childhood cancer
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and for many families affected by this disease, a time to raise awareness and advocate for their children.
Declan, a silly, sweet and courageous five-year-old also known as Declan the Dinosaur, is no stranger to cancer. In the past two years, Declan has been diagnosed with three cancers. To raise awareness this September, he and his friends hosted blood five drives across their communities in Oregon and SW Washington on September 13 and 14. The goal was to collect 250 units of blood with the potential to help upwards of 750 patients like Declan.
“Declan has had three cancer diagnosis’ in the past fifteen months,” said Lauren Reagan, Declan’s mom and founder of Declan the Dinosaur
. “Just in the past year, he’s received 21 blood transfusions, 63 platelet transfusions, and a bone marrow transplant. If it weren’t for the many donors who gave blood, Declan would not have survived.”
Children with cancer struggle to make enough healthy new blood cells, and low blood cell counts can be a side effect of cancer treatment. Many of the drugs used during chemotherapy can slow down blood cell production. Some cancer treatments cause a loss of platelets which may lead to life-threatening hemorrhages. Surgeries used to treat cancer may lead to additional blood loss.
In partnerships with Bloodworks NW, 28 people registered and 24 units of blood were collected from a drive held on September 13 at Randall Children's Hospital. Many of Declan's friends and their family joined in on the event, as well as Randall Children's nurses, doctor's and non-clinical staff, who gave blood or just stopped by to say hello to some incredible little cancer warriors.
“If you can’t donate but still wish to help others, ask a friend to donate blood for you or donate financially,” said Reagan. “This truly is a life-saving opportunity for children like Declan that are fighting to survive.”
Click here to watch the KATU story about Declan.
Click here to watch the KATU story about the RCH blood drive.
Click here to read Sandy Post story.
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Stanford Cone.