About those cranes
I promised that I’d keep everyone posted on the fate of those 1,000 origami cranes I received last November from an extremely caring and generous group of strangers in Palm Beach County. In case you don’t remember, they heard about my situation via this blog and just decided they wanted to do something to help me get better. So they got together and folded 1,000 origami cranes for me — in accordance with a Japanese legend that says such a gesture will help sick people heal. Such a collection of cranes is known as a Senbazuru. Part of the tradition goes back to a group of Japanese schoolchildren who made a Senbazuru for a young girl who contracted leukemia after surviving the 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. For more background, read this blog entry.
Well, I knew I couldn’t keep such a wonderful thing all to myself. I wanted to share it somehow with my fellow patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center here in Orlando, in order to pay the gift forward and maybe help them heal, too. My first idea was to ask a well-known Orlando artist to create a giant mobile sculpture so that all 1,000 cranes could hang together in the atrium of the hospital’s main lobby. But that idea for the cranes didn’t fly, because the hospital had fire-safety concerns.
My next idea was to pass the cranes along, one-by-one, in envelopes addressed to other patients, along with a personal letter from me explaining where they came from and what they meant. The hospital approved that plan, so I got busy writing the letter, getting 1,000 copies made and getting 1,000 envelopes printed up at Sir Speedy Printing. The video slideshow here explains what happened after that, when a group of my friends got together Feb. 5 at my house in Orlando to do the work of enclosing a single origami crane in each envelope. Thus was the circle completed: Strangers helping me heal, and then my friends helping me help other strangers heal. (Click Play button on image below to view slideshow).
I delivered all the envelopes to the hospital last Wednesday, and by the time I went for my chemotherapy infusion on Thursday they were already set out in trays on various patient check-in counters. I was also told that many of the medical oncologists at M.D. Anderson asked for envelopes in order to hand them out personally to their patients. I love the way this all turned out. I hope you do, too.