How does anyone endure a nine-month hospital stay? For Aidan, who was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 9, you build other realities, in his case with Legos.
Aidan’s passion for Legos began with his first set at the age of 5. So, when people found out he had cancer, gifts of Lego sets began pouring in.
The days were long in the hospital, so it was nice to immerse himself in a building project whenever he felt well enough. His hobby also connected him to a wider community outside the confines of a hospital bed, with people who shared his passion for building things.
He came across YouTube videos of Lego master builder Nathan Sawaya, a New York-based artist who makes three-dimensional sculptures and giant mosaics from everyday items. He is best known for his designs using LEGO toy bricks, artistic sculptures that are more art than a typical LEGO building. Aidan was in awe of Nathan’s creations and when Make-A-Wish Arizona asked what his one true wish would be, he said that he wished to meet Nathan in person.
A month after Aidan finished chemo and finally left the hospital, he learned that his wish to meet Nathan would come true. He and his family traveled to New York where, in awe, he worked with Nathan building a Lego car. Nathan even shared some “top-secret” building tips.
“He showed me how to make a round ball,” Aiden confides. “The trick is using a one by two brick, but I can’t tell you anymore about it because it’s a secret.”
Visiting New York, building with a Lego Master, playing in some unexpected snow; all helped fade the memories of his nine-month hospital ordeal and let Aidan start building a hopeful future that even a subsequent leg amputation could not diminish.