Declan Reagan, the Vancouver boy who won the hearts of Clark County residents with his resilience in facing multiple cancer diagnoses, died early Friday morning.
Declan was 6 years old.
News of the death was posted on Declan’s Facebook fanpage, “Declan the Dinosaur,” the nickname he earned because of his fondness for the prehistoric creatures.
“At 7:27 this morning, Declan gained his wings surrounded by both his parents and his brother,” the post reads.
His family thanked everyone for their love and support over the past two years since they learned Declan had cancer.
In 2016, the boy’s mother, Lauren Reagan, noticed her son was sleeping more than usual. Small red dots appeared on his body thereafter. A trip to the hospital turned into additional testing at Randall Children’s Hospital that determined Declan had acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, a rare leukemia that is especially uncommon before age 45.
Declan spent six months in the hospital, enduring doses of chemotherapy. He achieved remission but relapsed quickly after the treatments, decreasing his three- to five-year life expectancy to 30 percent.
Things were made worse in April 2017 when Declan was diagnosed with a second cancer, T-cell lymphoblast lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
Declan had his first bone marrow transplant three months later, but his cancer returned. He received a second bone marrow transplant in January, but the cancer returned again.
With increasing uncertainty, the Reagans decided to focus their efforts on filling the boy’s life with joy.
Earlier this year, Declan and his twin brother, Adrian, visited the movie sets of “Jurassic World” and its sequel, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” thanks to the Make a Wish Oregon program. Make a Wish provided a trip to Hawaii for the brothers and their parents, Francis and Lauren.
Francis Reagan has worked for the Washougal Police Department since 2014.
In recent months, Declan the Dinosaur’s Facebook page has been updated with the boy’s daily struggles and moments of happiness, like a video of him riding backseat in a car, smiling while DMX’s song “Party Up” plays in the background.
“Declan lived his life to the fullest and accomplished and inspired everyone he met,” says Friday’s Facebook post, which ends with an Abraham Lincoln quote:
“And in the end, it’s not the years in a life, it’s the life in the years.”