Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Please help me fight to cure blood cancers by donating to: http://www.active.com/donate/tntgsf/roshnir

Back in the 3rd grade, I randomly picked out a story from the school library entitled "Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes." I haven't seen the book since, but it left a lasting impression on me. Today I recall it simply because that was the first time I'd heard of a blood cancer--leukemia. Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl born in Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Diagnosed with leukemia before she even reached her teens, Sadako was told by her best friend that those who could fold 1000 paper cranes were granted a wish. Sadako struggled to make as many cranes as she could so she might live again, and run, but alas she succumbed to the illness. Leukemia is the number one cancer killer in children. Although it's been almost two decades since I read it, Eleanor Coerr's novel recounting Sadako's life has haunted me to this day.

Sadako was a runner and was actually diagnosed after fainting during a school race. Those who run to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research run in the shadow of Sadako's legacy.

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