By: Eva Tryon ’21
At just 12 years old, young Sadak o Sasaki from the 1977 novel Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr, was diagnosed with leukemia after the explosion of a nuclear bomb in WWII. Given just one year to live, Sadako wanted to make the most of her time. As a result, Sadako was determined to fold 1,000 paper cranes in keeping with the ancient Japanese tradition called senbazuru, which promised to give one wish to whoever completed the 1,000 cranes.
Unfortunately, after completing 600 paper cranes, Sadako passed away, but her legacy and determination were continued by her friends and family long after this, as they completed the rest of the 1,000 cranes.
This sad but inspiring heartfelt story inspired sophomores Addison Liu and Sarah Hart to create the Thousand Cranes of Hope club. They hope to continue Sadako’s legacy and tradition of folding origami paper cranes to spread hope, peace, love, and their best wishes to the people who need it most.
Thousand Cranes of Hope partners with local hospitals, care-centers, and retirement homes to bring patients paper cranes to support recovery and to bring a smile to the patients’ faces. So far, they have partnered with the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware to teach origami classes to the patients and their parents and with the After the Bell Program at Kennett Middle School to seek help in folding all of the cranes. Additionally, they will continue delivering cranes to patients at Chester County Hospital, where over the summer Addison and Sarah folded 280 cranes and placed them on meal trays for patients. While right now, Thousand Cranes of Hope is still tailoring the delivery process, the main goal of this club is to eventually carry out a full 1,000-paper cranes project, using them to decorate the room of one single patient to hopefully give the strength and hope to continue.
Addison and Sarah plan to expand their club before trying to make 1,000 cranes, each of which requires five minutes and a lot of practice to complete. Though they enjoy the tedious process of folding each crane, their favorite part of each project is undoubtedly delivering them to the hospital/care centers and patients and seeing all of their hard work pay off.