Life has offered its challenges to Amy Kane, including a diagnosis of breast cancer. Coping with that diagnosis proved especially difficult for Amy, until days before a scheduled surgery. That’s when her doctor handed her a brochure about the Hawthorne Cancer Resource Center and its many support services for cancer patients. It proved to be an emotional game changer. Soon she began attending the Hawthorne’s weekly support groups. And before long, the healing process began. Says Amy, “The support groups helped me in ways that my family and friends could not. Everyone in the group was a cancer patient or survivor. They all knew where I was coming from, because they had been there.”
One year later with surgery and treatments behind her, Amy wanted to give back to the Hawthorne, but wasn’t sure how. The answer came from an unlikely source: a gift of a young adult book entitled Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a fictionalized account of a real Japanese girl from Hiroshima striken with leukemia as the result of radiation from the atomic bomb. In hopes of a cure, the girl decided to construct origami cranes to honor the Japanese legend that whoever makes 1000 paper cranes will get a wish.
“With the purchase of specialty paper,” recounts Amy, “I started to make my own cranes and found the process very therapeutic. As I made more and more, I thought to myself, ‘what am I going to do with all these cranes?’ Then I thought of the Hawthorne and everything fell into place. The legend of the cranes and the hope they provide would be an ideal fundraiser for the Hawthorne.”
Amy Kane holds a bachelor degree in photography and graphic design from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a community volunteer who is active in the media ministry at First Baptist in Richmond. As a mother of three who experienced serious illness, along with the need to care for her own children, Amy is now exploring ideas to help other parents in similar circumstances.
NOTE: Paper cranes are available for downloading with a donation to the Hawthorne Cancer Resource Center Foundation. To make your own, please click on the following link for instructions.