- raise awareness of the skin cancer "epidemic" in Australia;
- encourage kids to be #SunSmart;
- raise awareness of beach safety;
- honour and raise the profile of the Surf Life Saving Association Australia and their members;
- add a dinky-di, true blue, Aussie set to the Lego universe; and
- show Aiden how to take a small idea he thought of on the floor of his bedroom and turn it into a reality.
"One dying wish"On
This is a hard update to post
As most of you know I've had melanoma for the past three-and-a-half years. I've been doing well, particularly with the new drug immunotherapy trials (which managed to kill all of my chest tumours). However, I've been told that my brain tumours have multiplied and are very aggressive.
Unfortunately, my doctors say that I have 6-10 weeks left to live. Six months would be a miracle.
Obviously this has made me focus on spending as much time as I can with family and friends, which explains my absence online recently. It also means I won't have much time to dedicate to my online life going forward. But if I can I will try to respond to everyone's comments, well-wishes, posts, etc, but please know in advance that I appreciate and care about every single one of you and everything you've done for me and my family over the last few years.
Which brings me to @LegoSurfRescue. I think everyone gets why this project has become so important to me and Aiden. The proposed set is meant to:
We currently have approx. 3,000 votes. We still need 7,000 votes to reach the 10,000 mark that the Lego Ideas sites requires.
If you would indulge me, and I can't believe I'm writing this, I have one dying wish: to reach the 10,000 votes and have Lego at least consider building the set.
If each person who has voted for @LegoSurfRescue so far got 2 or 3 friends, family, far-flung relatives, school friends, work colleagues, strangers, Aussies with a heart, to vote, we would reach 10,000 in a week. Click above to vote, please!
I appreciate that in these times it is very annoying to have to sign up to one more website HOWEVER voting is literally free and I'm convinced that if the set is made it will save lives in the future.
So please vote, please ask everyone you know to vote, please ask everyone you don't know to vote! Share this post on Facebook and Twitter, share with journos, influencers, celebs, master builders, Lego bloggers, anyone that can help push the word out there. And please also take the time in real life to mention it and vote.
If I sound kinda desperate, I am. It's also a lot to burden everyone with but I'm dying and feel a little self-indulgent.
Thank you in advance. I'll check in with everyone when I can.
PS: One additional favour. We have been advised not to tell Aiden just yet (we're waiting till we have a more defined timeline). So I'd ask that any family and friends please not discuss this with him. Thank you.
G'day from Liam & Chris Hingesworth!On
We here at Lego Surf Rescue started thinking that our beach was looking a little empty. So we thought we'd add a couple of Aussie larrikins to the set, whom we've named Liam & Chris Hingesworth (named, obviously, after the Aussie stars Chris & Liam Hemsworth). Chris loves to fish on the beach; Liam is a bit of beachcomber; and they both love to play frisbee. Say hi in the comments or on Facebook! Brick on!
Happy new year everyone!On
We hope 2017 has been going as well for you as it has for us so far! We're almost 25% of the way to the magical 10K target & we've just scored a couple more media mentions.
First, Harriet Alexander at The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a really lovely piece on the project and the personal meaning it carries for us. Here's a link and here are a couple of photos they took of us. Aiden shines (even more than my newly bald head!).
Second, I did an interview with a local radio station 2UE. It's not online but it was pretty exciting and the hosts, Murray Olds & Deborah Knight were so nice and super supportive.
We've got a few more exciting things we're working on for 2017, so keep an eye out here or on our Facebook page here.
Have a great Christmas & NY everyone!On
Meet the Lego Surf Rescue ATVOn
We have a new addition to our Surf Rescue set! It’s our Surf Rescue All-Terrain Vehicle (or ATV for short).
It’s something we built last time we went up to see my father in Port Stephens, north of Sydney, where we saw one being used by the local life savers on One Mile Beach. We’ve finally now had it photographed and you can see the results above & below. That’s Keats in the driver’s seat.
BTW Keats is named in honour of one of my favourite actresses ever, Diane Keaton, who is a two-time skin cancer survivor and a passionate advocate for proper sun care.
Also: we’ve just hit 2200 votes, which is amazing! Thank you again to everyone for your support & kind messages. As Drew reminds us we’ve still got “a ways to go”, so please pass the page around to all your family & friends over the holidays & ask them to vote & share. Thanks for your help & here’s hoping we’ll all be able to buy Surf Rescue Lego sets next Christmas!!
Damien & Aiden
Our local MP gives Lego Surf Rescue the thumbs up!On
Hey everybody - it's Damien here again! Sorry for dropping off the radar for the last few weeks - it's been a rough month with radiation/drug therapy/& so on. I'll post when I can over the Christmas/NY period & when I can't I'll ask my brother Drew to keep you up-to-date. (Thanks Drew!)
In the meantime, I managed to drag myself out of my sickbed & meet up with my local member of Parliament, Anthony Albanese MP, who was just awesome & generous with his time & really passionate about #SunSmart Lego Surf Rescue & the #InnerWest. We shared his Facebook post yesterday, but here's an EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes look at Aiden's & my catch-up with "Albo" & the public debut of my new hairdo!
SunSmart Lego flyerOn
Hi Lego Surf Rescue fans,
I've had a few requests for an A4 flyer for people to print & hand out or post to a work or community noticeboard.
Thanks in advance for sharing!
What a weekend!On
Hey everyone! We had a fantastic weekend here in Lego Surf Rescue-Land!
First, Aiden & I were invited to appear on Australia's Weekend Sunrise breakfast TV program to talk about our Lego Surf Rescue campaign and we had a blast. You can see the full segment here. Here's a pic of us on set as well:
A big thank you to the Seven Network in Sydney for having us on, Jessica Tancred who arranged for us to appear, our hosts Andrew O'Keefe & Monique Wright who were really generous with their time and made us feel right at home, as well as Jessie, the floor crew, producers, graphics, and the rest of the Sunrise team!
Second, as a direct result of the Sunrise story, we had a massive jump in our votes. We hit the 1000 mark on Saturday (our time) and went much further, doubling the number of votes we had on Friday from approx. 800 to over 1600 this morning. Thank you to everyone for your support and taking the time to vote. And thanks again Sunrise!
Finally, I want to highlight the fact that we're now the 4th most popular project on the site today!
I hope this will give us a bit more exposure in the Lego community and get even more support and love from our fellow AFOLs in Australia and around the world! Brick on!
Taking the fight up to skin cancerOn
Yesterday I spoke to a few media outlets in Sydney, Australia in support of the Cancer Council Australia's #SunSmart5 campaign, encouraging everyone to Slip (on a shirt) Slop (on sunscreen) Slap (on a hat) Seek (out shade) and Slide (on some sunglasses). If you're interested in my story and why our SunSmart project means so much to us, check them out below.
We've made the front page!On
This is very exciting for Aiden & I! We've had so many votes this week that we made the front page of the Lego Ideas site! Check it out! We're "popular"! Thank you everyone for your support! We can do this!