SPRINGFIELD, OR — Three local law enforcement officers are banding together to help a member of their “blue family,” hosting several local fundraisers in the next week for the child of an officer in Washington state.
Springfield police officer Allan Amundson co-owns a company called Sheepdog United, together with Springfield Sgt. Brian Humphreys and Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Sieczkowski.
The company, which launched earlier this year, mostly produces T-shirts and challenge coins with the common theme of supporting heroes, whether they are soldiers, firefighters, police officers or others in public service.
“A sheep is an innocent person, whether that’s a victim of crime or someone who needs help; we try to reach out and help,” Amundson said.
One of the company’s missions, Amundson said, is to support members of those groups in times of need. So when the three owners heard of Declan Regan’s story, they felt compelled to help.
Declan is a 5-year-old boy living in Vancouver who is fighting two forms of cancer — leukemia and lymphoma.
A twin, he is the son of a police officer and former military member in Vancouver, and, therefore, an honorary “blue family” member of Sheepdog United, Amundson said.
“Steve got an email in a group he’s in called The Fraternal Order of Police, and he heard this story and said, ‘Hey, what do you guys think about helping these guys out?’ and it just kind of grew from there,” Amundson said. “Declan’s father is a police officer and ex-military, and that makes him family to us. It’s just such a touching story. Declan has a twin who is healthy, and they are just going through so much. We had the resources to make a T-shirt, so we just said, ‘Let’s do this!’ ”
Sheepdog United created a special T-shirt for Declan to raise money for his cancer treatments. The front reads, “Declan Reagan is my brother. We stand as one.” The back reads, “Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family.”
They range from $19.95 to $27.95 depending on the size and can be purchased at sheepdogunited.com.
All of the proceeds benefit the Reagan family. For more information, visit the Facebook group “Declan the Dinosaur” for updates and photos
But the local efforts to help the Washington boy in his fight against cancer don’t end there.
According to the website, Declan has had 79 rounds of chemotherapy, two surgeries, five bone marrow punctures and 40 blood-product transfusions — all by the age of 4. After a brief remission, Declan relapsed, and his cancer returned last spring. He since has undergone even more treatments.
So Sheepdog United’s owners decided to see whether there was more they could do to help the Reagan family, Amundson said.
The results mean that six Eugene-Springfield area fundraising events and opportunities for the community to help.