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Damien MacRae and his seven year old son, Aiden love to build spaceships, pirate galleons and fortresses in their home. Damien has made building Lego sets with his son a priority since learning three years ago of discovering he had melanoma.
So the two set out to build an Australian beach! Fun, right? Well Aiden could not find pieces to actually create the Australian beach and after some research his father realized none existed! So between Father and Son they decided to conceive their own, in what would become a very personal mission.
Cancer has since spread to Damien’s lungs and brain. Last month in a Facebook message, he told friends that his brain tumors had multiplied and there is not much time left for him.
“Unfortunately, my doctors say that I have 6-10 weeks left to live. Six months would be a miracle,” he wrote in the post on April 14th.
“Obviously this has made me focus on spending as much time as I can with family and friends.”
Damien reached out to his Facebook friends asking for his “one dying wish”: to get LEGO® to consider making Surf Lego Rescue, the idea him and his son Aiden invented on his bedroom floor.
They would first need 10,000 votes on a LEGO® concepts website – which could prove difficult!
“I think everyone gets why this project has become so important to me and Aiden,” Damien told his friends.
The total vote was reached within days – not so difficult after all! This meant that the project would be considered! Damien said that he had never seen his son more excited!
Damien and Aiden had spent hours talking about their ideas, taking inspiration from Australia’s iconic Surf Live Saving volunteer group. They even ordered custom made toys from a company in London.
“The LEGO® universe doesn’t have much that reflects Australian culture,” Damien said.
“There is a Sydney Opera House toy set but not much else.”
Their collection captures a sense of fun at the beach, but it also highlights some of the dangers that sun exposure can cause.
The lifeguard characters are named after celebrities who had skin cancer scares, such as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman – they all wear sunscreen and hats!
The set they have also includes some surfers, a lifeboat, jet ski, quad bike, seagulls, jellyfish and a shark-patrolling drone.
The Danish company will soon decide if it will produce the set or not. If it does, it is likely to take at least 10 months before sale.
“What a fantastic project, depicting an action-packed day at the beach, full of thoughtful and playable details,” a LEGO® spokeswoman said.
Since 2010, 19 projects from the LEGO® Ideas platform have been made – such as Women of NASA.
“They’ve been really generous with their kind words and indicated they will take my illness into consideration when they’re doing the review,” Damien said.
But Damien knows that time is running out.
“Getting to 10,000 votes was my goal,” he said. “And the possibility that I could leave a legacy for Aiden.”
“To know that he can take ideas that he’s come up with, on the bedroom floor, and take it out to the world.”