They had taken him to the Doctor that day because he had bruises on his body that just wouldn't go away, as well as little red spots under his arms. At that second, their world was completely shattered.
He has been diagnosed with a rare aggressive sub type AML leukemia. He is fighting for his life and is having very intense CHEMO treatments.
Declan is 5 years old and will turn 6 this week in the hospital.
He is so weak already, and we're told he will get even more sick from the intense chemo treatments he was started in. He will lose his hair this week, and will be going through pure hell.
The family is doing everything they possibly can to hold it all together. They have been by his side and are also trying to care for Declan's older sister Alexa who is 7. She is taking this very hard as you can imagine, and may be facing a terrifying ordeal of donating bone marrow to her brother.
This beautiful little family is absolutely devastated. Their world has been thrown upside down and they are doing everything they can to get through this.
As you can imagine, Doug and Joanne have missed and will miss a lot more work in order to be by their little boys side while he fights this painful and scary battle with cancer.
We're just asking for a little help for them, so they can continue to be with him until he heals. This will be a tough journey, but we have faith that he will be well, and we will not stop believing this!!
This is a very agressive cancer, and they need all the prayers and support they can get.
Anything you can do is so greatly appreciated.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
****NOTE - All donations are in ***US funds***.
As such, I Tammy Baio will be personally responsible for making sure that all donations be given to my brother Doug & his Wife Joanne to help cover their bills and any other costs that arise during this difficult time.
If you kindly wish to send Declan a card (he loves getting mail), the US address is:
21781 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills CA 91364
Canadian address is:
SUITE #103, #7 BOULDER BOULEVARD
STONY PLAIN, ALBERTA
Thank you so much.
My Valentines Wish❤ is that everyone reading this post will pledge anything possible to help Declan and his Family cover some of their expenses on the next part of their journey to Calgary.
They will head down to Calgary next week to prepare for his full body radiation and bone marrow transplant.
Although we have Now Radio in Edmonton (Canada) doing a bottle drive at the end of April which we are so grateful for, I am kindly asking for support to help them over these next few months in Calgary!! We are so grateful and will pay it forward.
If you could even help to share this post, the more people we reach the better chance Declan and family have of covering these new expenses.
Thanks so much for your prayers and continued support.
All we want is Declan to be home again, healthy and happy where he belongs.
I know it's been a while since we posted an update, but I know many of you have been following along with the progress on Facebook. If you're on Facebook and want more info on Declan, you can like the Fight For Declan page to get all the latest info.
It's coming up on 5 months since he was diagnosed, and he is still battling hard for his life. He just finished his last possible round of chemo. It's his last round because his body simply can't handle any more without causing severe damage to his organs. The cancer Declan has is called AML Leukemia which originates in the bone marrow. Presently, he is in remission, however, the doctors say his body won't be able to handle it if the cancer returns. That's why they are subjecting him to such intense chemotherapy. This last phase really did a number on this sweet boy. He has been in isolation for weeks now, and has been so very sick.
Sadly, he wouldn't have had to do the chemo if a bone marrow donor match was confirmed. But that has been another tormenting struggle. We had no idea how hard it is to find a match, not just for Declan but anyone needing a bone marrow donor. It's based on DNA not blood type, and the ideal candidate for Declan is a Caucasian male 18-35.
We are so thankful to everyone who signed up and has been spreading the word. It takes a village and people have been offering endless support by signing up to see if they are a match. We are truly grateful.
Thursday, January 12th was his first day in over 2 weeks that he didn't have a fever. Because his immune system was so low, he caught a virus and gave us all a terrible scare with fevers as high as 107 degrees.
He is now feeling better and doing tests to prep him for his journey to Calgary. This is where they will do full body radiation and officially confirm if a donor has been found. We pray every day for this miracle and are staying positive that it will happen.
My brother Doug and his wife Joanne are beyond exhausted but staying strong. They have been on auto pilot since this all began, alternating every 2-3 days at the hospital as much as possible so that Alexandra can have normalcy with her school schedule. The loads of laundry from a very sick boy are never ending.
Doug has been unable to go back to work, and Joanne has taken time off from her photography business so they can be there full time for Declan. They are relentlessly fighting this battle alongside Declan as they all endure many sleepless nights, rigorous and painful side effects, and emotional ups and downs as Declan battles through his treatments.
The community has really come together and has stepped up in amazing ways with various fundraisers and bottle drives, by making the family dinners, by shoveling their sidewalks and by picking up Alexa after school on the bad days when they both need to be with Declan. He even had a visit from the Star Wars Kylo Ren, Storm troopers and Chewbacca which made Declan very happy.
All of this love and support is what keeps them and all of us going. You give us strength. Thank you truly from the bottom of our hearts.
They will soon be on their journey to Calgary, approximately 2 hours south of Edmonton. (The only place in Alberta that does full body radiation and bone marrow transplants). They will be driving back and forth between home and Calgary so one parent can be with Alexandra and the other with Declan. This is why we wanted to reach out again and ask for your support to help them in this next phase of treatment.
The financial burden of traveling back and forth, as well as being completely away from home will be very difficult. They could be in Calgary for as long as 6 months. Doug and Joanne have been reminded and are very aware that these next few months will be the hardest yet.
We humbly ask for your help in getting them to Calgary and through this challenging time and treatment. Every little bit helps.
Full body radiation will not be easy and we are told very painful. Our little warrior has been through hell and back and it's not finished yet. We're praying hard for this to be over soon so he can get back to being a normal little boy.
Anything you can do to help this family is truly appreciated. Also, if you could also help us get the word out and share this on Facebook or anyplace else, we would be grateful.
Please note that I cannot reply to messages left on go-fund me, but you can reach me on Facebook if you have questions. I do apologize to those of you that sent questions that I was not able to reply to.
Thanks so much for your time and continued support. We really couldn't do it without you.
Lots of Love,
Doug, Joanne, Alexandra, Declan and the entire family.
If you would like to sign up to be a bone marrow donor see the links below.
It only takes 5 minutes to request your test kit so you can register to be a bone marrow donor!! A simple mouth swab and you mail it back. Blood type does NOT matter. You could save a life!
We just wanted to give you an update on Declan.
He is still on the intense chemo treatment and will go on the next stage chemo cycle tomorrow 8/29. This past week he has had so many amazing experiences, he turned 6, and he was able to meet some Star Wars storm troopers, and read many of the birthday cards/gifts sent to him from all over the world, which made him crazy happy. We saw a genuine smile on his face today which made our hearts melt.
Although he has had an eventful week (which we are all so grateful for,) he really just wants to go home.
He went for a 30 minute walk today outside his room just to get some air (he had cabin fever) but had to get back quickly to his treatments. He is frustrated, confined and just worn out. He doesn't want his blood pressure checked, or to be poked and prodded anymore. He's throwing up, has painful sores in his mouth, and bleeding lips. For any child to have to endure pain like this is simply heartbreaking, let alone a family member.
He is trying to be strong, but he's having a really rough time.
This little man is fighting hard, but you can see the toll that the cancer and chemo have had on his little body.
Please keep him in your prayers. These coming weeks will not be easy, but we are staying positive.
We are forever grateful for the outpouring of support and compassion that we have received.
You have touched our hearts in ways you will never understand. We couldn't do this without your continued support. Thank you so very much.
Love, Doug, Joanne, Alexa, Declan & Family
What is this sweet boy's blood type?