Legoland California Resort and the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego joined forces last week to bring happiness to one very special young man as two-time cancer survivor, Gideon Robinson, pulled the switch that lit up the park’s famous Lego Christmas tree.
Surrounded by twinkling lights and a festive flurry of snow, 11-year-old Gideon kicked off the Season of Joy in a private ceremony that included the park’s annual tree lighting and a celebration of his victory over acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Gideon’s first cancer diagnosis came a week after his 5th birthday, and, after a short remission, he was diagnosed again in 2019. During his treatment and throughout the journey toward wellness, he and his family were able to stay together at Ronald McDonald House, with the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, until, finally, they received the welcome news that he had defeated leukemia.
The Robinson family had an exclusive viewing of Legoland California’s decorations on Dec. 3 as they strolled toward Fun Town to light the 30-foot tree’s 11,000 twinkling lights. The tree—made from more than 245,000 green Duplo bricks—featured brand new Lego star ornaments honoring the star character from the hit sequel “The Lego Movie 2,” bringing the total number of decorations to more than 400.
Prior to lighting the tree, Gideon was presented with one of the star ornaments, which will act as park admission for a return visit when the park’s largest expansion, The Lego Movie World, opens in 2021.
Legoland California Resort president Kurt Stocks was happy to have Gideon and his family as overnight guests after the youngster’s special day. “During these unprecedented times when so many are faced with challenges, it’s positive stories such as Gideon’s that provide inspiration to all of us. It’s an absolute pleasure and honor to have Gideon and his family officially light the Lego Christmas tree this year and help Legoland California bring some holiday hope to families this winter.”
For 40 years, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego has provided a “home-away-from-home” for youngsters battling serious or life-threatening illnesses, allowing their loved ones to remain with them as they get the care they need. The charity has had a long-standing relationship with Legoland California Resort, with the goal of making a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.