Dying father and his son create LEGO set which may actually get sold in stores

Dying father and his son create LEGO set which may actually get sold in stores
PHOTO: LegoSurfRescue/Facebook

A father and son duo are attempting to get toy company LEGO to build a new product range - a beach set, which they created together.

But there is a twist to this story, as the pair find themselves in a race against time - a time limit of six to ten weeks to be exact.

That's because Damien MacRae, 42, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma (a type of skin cancer), with the cancer spreading to his lungs and brain.

How it all began

About a year ago, MacRae's son Aiden, now seven, told his father about wanting to build a LEGO beach set. MacRae, who had always wanted to own a set like that of his own, immediately agreed to the idea.

"I also have Stage 4 melanoma and have become passionate about educating people about the dangers of the sun and the importance of wearing sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, long-sleeves." said MacRae in an interview with LEGO.

"It only occurred to me later that we could combine the ideas in the same set."

The beach set was not easy to build, with the pair having to find their own parts and start from scratch. Sometimes there would be pieces that they required but did not own, which meant MacRae would have to order them online from far off places like Belgium and USA.

In a Facebook post on April 14, the Australian father wrote: "My doctors say that I have six to ten weeks left to live. Six months would be a miracle."

He appealed to the public to help him achieve his "dying wish" - to have his LEGO beach set model reach 10,000 votes, the minimum number of votes needed for LEGO to consider making the set an official product.

Apart from raising awareness about skin safety under the sun, MacRae was also determined to "show Aiden how to take a small idea he thought of on the floor of his bedroom and turn it into a reality."

That was when their proposal had only managed to garner about 3,000 votes online.

Every since his appeal has gained public attention however, support has come in droves, with the last 7,000 votes being cast within a week.

MacRae has been understandably ecstatic with the overwhelming support they have received, but what is more important to him is the excitement and satisfaction experienced by his 7-year-old son.

"To see him dancing and smiling because of this, I've never been prouder," he said in a BBC interview. "It's the happiest I've seen him in a long time."

Skin care lessons with LEGO

The pair's LEGO set packs many features one would typically find at an Australian beach, including surfers, a jet ski, and a shark drone, to name a few. 

Imbued within its design however, is also a very real message on skin care under the sun.

The set included four lifeguards, named after celebrities who have been involved with skin cancer in one way or another, such as Bob (Marley), Hugh (Jackman), and Nic (after Nicole Kidman). All four lifeguards wear sunscreen and hats.

Having achieved 10,000 votes as of May, MacRae remains realistic about his chances of having his set approved as a product, understanding that LEGO still has to keep the process as fair as possible.

Nevertheless, MacRae remains satisfied not only with what he and his son has accomplished so far, but also with how Aiden has grown. "Getting to 10,000 votes was my goal," he said. "And the possibility that I could leave a legacy for Aiden."

Said MacRae: "I’ll never be prouder than watching him glow and grow confidence and joy as our support rose."

Father and Son Build LEGO set together in race against time



More about

Australia Lego sets
Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.