"Healing Cranes" was inspired by my friend Betsy Runyan Medina who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. After I found out about her diagnosis, my sister-in-law, Kayoko Atchity Mitsumatsu suggested I fold 1000 origami cranes for Betsy as a gesture of good wishes for longevity and health. I learned this is a Japanese custom that has been practiced for many years when someone is ill or in any situation where you wish longevity and good wishes for them or their cause. According to Japanese legend, the crane is a bird that is known to live a long time, even 1000 years!  I started folding as soon as I found out about Betsy’s diagnosis...

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Photograph by John Ruth

Laurie, Betsy, Kayoko 2001