Lights, camera, action

Justin Dickie
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Battling since birth, Spencer MacKay turns energy towards entertainment

Spencer MacKay knows all about miracles. When MacKay was born in Amherst, he was airlifted within hours to the IWK Children's Hospital with severe skeletal complications.

"The doctors said when he arrived at the IWK that he probably wouldn't last more than a couple of weeks," said his grandfather, Ed MacKay.

Spencer has a rare form of dwarfism, one of just three people in North America with the condition, according to his grandfather.

Lights, camera, action

Spencer MacKay knows all about miracles. When MacKay was born in Amherst, he was airlifted within hours to the IWK Children's Hospital with severe skeletal complications.

"The doctors said when he arrived at the IWK that he probably wouldn't last more than a couple of weeks," said his grandfather, Ed MacKay.

Spencer has a rare form of dwarfism, one of just three people in North America with the condition, according to his grandfather. Now 10 years old, Spencer has beaten the odds.

"The IWK is a tremendous organization and they've really accomplished miracles with him," Spencer's grandfather said. "He has accomplished miracles in his own right."

Now Spencer trucks around in his motorized wheelchair with energy to burn.

Always a fan of theatre and movies, Spencer decided it was time to put together a documentary.

"I want other people to experience being in a play, without actually being in the play, by watching the movie," he said.

"I've been waiting to do this for a few years."

Spencer, who lives in Halifax with his parents Rebecca MacKay and Jeff Orr, was on the scene at the Trinity-St. Stephen United Church recently to document Showcase Productions' summer theatre camp presentation "This Old Gingerbread House."

Along with assisting in directing the play, he caught the progress on film from start to finish, expecting the end result to accurately portray how a play is brought together.

He calls his film "The Miracle of a Play."

Spencer has been making his own movies at home for a few years. He also edits his own work and makes graphics through Microsoft PowerPoint.

"I like plays and I like making movies so I thought why not put those two things together, it might make an awesome movie," Spencer said. "It's kind of a comedy slash documentary."

Spencer hopes to get his movie into theatres. If he doesn't get this one in, there'll be many more to come. "The Miracle of a Play" is set to release January 25, 2008.



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: IWK Children's Hospital, Stephen United Church, Old Gingerbread House Microsoft PowerPoint

Geographic location: Amherst, North America

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  • Ed
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    Wonderful story and kudos to Justin, the writer, who promises to have a wonderful future in journalism. As a witness to this interview, I must commend Justin Dickie for the professionalism shown in his interview techniques and the sincerity and sensitivity shown to Spencer - a budding Anderson Cooper in our midsts.

  • Rebecca
    January 18, 2010 - 10:40

    I must agree with Justin and Terri. My little miracle is an inspiration to me and the many people around us, including my friends and family back in Amherst. Thank you everyone for all the support you have shown us over the past 10 years.

    And, when Spencer asks me to rearrange the house because he is getting a movie set ready, sits at the computer for hours writing a script or when he asks his brothers to act out their parts over and over again...well let's just say if Steven Spielberg's mother can do it...so can I because I know Spencer will be an incredible director.

  • Terri
    January 18, 2010 - 10:37

    Spencer is proof that miracles happen with a lot of love and support. I use to be a good friend of Spencer's mom and remember visiting them at the IWK ( he was so very tiny). Articles like these put a smile on your face and just make you feel good.