Declan is an inspirational young man who has been a lifelong patient of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital due to a life-threatening illness. Aged 10 Declan decided he wanted to give back to the hospital that gave him so much and embarked on a charity campaign called Declan’s Decathlon. He planned to complete 10 different events to raise funds and awareness of RMCH. These projects have included a ‘Be seen in Green’ day, Hallowe’en family nights, designing professional Christmas cards to sell, Christmas toy appeals for children in hospital over festive periods, completing 10 laps of the Manchester City stadium, 3K junior run, ‘scar selfie’ appeal and much more!
One very important project for Declan was his 8th challenge – to create an appeal which would promote a positive attitude around scars and celebrating who you are as an individual. Declan embarked on his #scarselfie campaign in 2016 by uploading images of his scars for the first time and asking others to do the same, he wanted to show people that scars often stand for courage and strength and that no one should be made to feel ashamed of their scars, but instead celebrate them. Through the campaign, hundreds of people shared their pictures and their inspirational stories whilst also reaching out and thanking Declan for helping them to feel brave enough to do so.
Building on his experience, Declan is part of RMCH’s Youth Forum, a voice for young people's thoughts on policies and procedures at the hospital. Declan helped to interview for the hospital’s new Medical Director and other senior executive posts meaning Declan has made a direct impact for children and families at the hospital.
His teacher said, “Although Declan has faced more upheavals in his short life than most will in an entire life time he is committed to making a difference to other children and families facing difficulties and making sure that their voices are heard.”
Declan McEntree, 16
The Barlow RC High School, Manchester (Diocese of Salford)