BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – As students at Oak Grove Middle School get set for their production of 'The Lion King,' there’s a story behind the masks they will be wearing on stage.

Kevin Doheny has spent the last nine months creating 54 masks, along with a majority of the costumes for the show.

“It’s really given me the opportunity to grow as an artist, and then beyond that, doing this art over the last year has literally saved me,” Doheny says.

Doheny says he’s battled a serious illness over the last couple of years and had two major surgeries in the middle of working on The Lion King.

“There were days when I didn’t want to, or couldn’t even get out of bed,” he says. “I’d look over at my workspace. I’d see my Lion King stuff and I’d think, ‘Ok, if you can just get up and sculpt one mask today, or just paint half of that lion’s head today, it’s going to be a good day.’”

The Lion King is March 3rd and 4th at 7 p.m and March 5th at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Oak Grove Middle School main office.

Click here to visit Doheny’s website.