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HealthBeat

Declan’s fight continues

The battle to defeat cancer continues for 5-year-old Declan Reagan of Vancouver.

Declan was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when he was 4 years old. After six months in the hospital and four rounds of chemotherapy, Declan achieved remission in September 2016.

But in February, the Reagan family learned Declan’s cancer was back. As they waited to begin treatment, doctors diagnosed Declan with a second form of cancer: T-cell lymphoblast lymphoma.

In July, Declan underwent a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant. For two months following the transplant, Declan was doing well and producing donor cells.

In early October, however, the Reagans again received devastating news. Declan’s cancer is back.

“I am lost for words on the incredible pain that our family is in,” Declan’s mom, Lauren Reagan, said in a post on the Declan the Dinosaur Facebook page on Oct. 10.

With limited treatment options, doctors have come up with a tentative plan to treat Declan’s cancer. The treatment includes a chemo cocktail with a special drug that targets the specific myeloid cells that keep mutating into cancer, Lauren Reagan said.

Declan will need several blood and platelet transfusions and will also undergo another infusion of donor cells.

Declan began treatment Tuesday and will remain in the hospital for 60 days.

Via Declan the Dinosaur Facebook page

Via Declan the Dinosaur Facebook page

“This kiddo is so strong and brave we told him that we were moving back to the hospital because his cancer is back,” Lauren Reagan said in an Oct. 30 Facebook post. “He took it in stride (and) asked if it was for a long time which we replied yes, he said ok don’t forget to bring my transforming dinosaurs.”

If the treatment isn’t successful, the family may pursue clinical trial options, Lauren Reagan said.

You can follow Declan’s journey on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DeclantheDinosaur.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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