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Massive homeschool Lego project brings out the best in community

Few have suffered more setbacks during the pandemic than kids, especially those with special needs.

But in Colorado Springs, one family is turning lemons into Legos, and in the process taking their special needs son to places they never thought he could go.

His name is Troy Gagliardi, and his creation is called "Troy Town".

For the last year, the 14-year old and his parents have constructed a colorful collaboration of cultures that now spans over 5 folding tables in what was formerly the family's living room.

"If you go over here, we got the Beatles," he points out during KRDO's tour of Troy Town.

"C3PO, R2D2," he continues, "we got the Ghostbusters."

It's somewhat of a perfect chaos, with Luke and Darth Vader in a light sabre standoff just a few feet away from Cookie Monster and Marty McFly.

Even though Troy doesn't entirely understand the movie, he can recite one of the most famous lines.

"Are you telling me you built a time machine out of a Delorean?" he says proudly.

Despite suffering a brain injury at birth that lead to a variety of physical and behavioral disabilities, Troy has excelled at snowboarding and soccer through Special Olympics, while also going to daily sessions of physical therapy.

However, the pandemic quickly changed things.

"All that was taken away," explains his dad, Mike Gagliardi.

His parents knew they had to get creative to keep him occupied while remaining in a "bubble" to protect Troy's fragile system.

"When I was going through his homeschool plans, I thought well maybe he and I can build a city together, and I asked him do you want to build a city, and he said 'Yes, let's build a lego city,'" recalls his mother, Colleen.

They built one piece every day.

"It just kept growing and growing," says Mike.

But at the same time, their supply of legos got smaller and smaller.

"It was amazing how fast we went through it. And that kind of leads up to when Colleen put the call out on social media for donations, if anyone wanted to sell their used lego, that we would definitely use it.

People responded to Colleen's post immediately, and not just close friends or family.

"Some i knew well. Some hardly at all," she says.

Among them was Troy's cousin, Chris Mollica, who showed up with his old Legos and a personal letter of support.

Today, Chris can't believe what Troy has accomplished.

"Just to see how much time he's put into it and how much detail is in it, is amazing," he said.

Equally amazing is the tremendous improvement in both Troy's motor skills and confidence.

A year ago, he could only assemble the larger pieces, but now he can attach some of the tiniest pieces into the smallest spaces.

"To see how far he's come, and more importantly to see the joy it brings him, it's hard to express, but it makes my heart full," says Mike.

Troy Town also includes a model of the Gagliardi home with each family remember and pet represented.

"That's me, with the little Mountain Dew," he points out.

His parents have told Troy this will all eventually have to come down, but not yet.

For now, they will let the boy who is considered to be a medical miracle himself continue creating this miracle of his own.

After hearing Troy's story, KRDO contacted the Lego Group to see if the company was interested in making its own contribution to Troy's collection.

A representative replied and said they would ship Troy five brand new sets, including we contacted the lego group to tell them about troy.
and they are shipping him six packages, including Darth Vadar BrickHeadz, Harry Potter Transfiguration Class, Super Mario Adventure Starter Course, Minecraft The Ocean Monument, Stranger Things The Upside Down, and Creator Caravan Family Holiday, which is appropriately a vehicle and camper set.

After all, Troy Town is in Colorado.

Bart Bedsole

Bart is the evening anchor for KRDO. Learn more about Bart here.


1 Comment

  1. There is a kid out in Falcon who has 5 times that set up. His whole basement is all legos. He is on Youtube its crazy.

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