1,000 Paper Cranes

Created: 09/24/11
Last Edited: 03/09/13
In 2009, Sunny Bonnell, Motto's co-founder and creative director's mom was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia).
Project Info
  • Sunny's idea for the project was originally inspired by a display of 1,000 origami cranes her mom had seen when she was being treated at Duke University's Cancer Hospital. In the hall, there was a display of a thousand cranes in the cancer wing and each week, they would turn the cranes to face a new direction. The cranes were said to symbolize hope that each person fighting leukemia would be healed.  
    After researching 1,000 paper cranes and their symbolism, Sunny became inspired by a story she had read about a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955) who got leukemia as result of radiation created by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. While in the hospital, Sadako’s friend Chihuko Hamamoto brought her a piece of golden paper and folded it into an origami crane. The crane symbolizes an ancient Japanese legend that says anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.

    In honor of Sunny's mom and so many others still fighting the leukemia battle, Motto decided to create an “origami kit” to give to Leukemia patients. The kits contain enough paper to create 10 origami cranes. The idea would be that each of the 100 recipients would fold 10 birds each to make a combined total of “1,000 Paper Cranes” to symbolize hope for Leukemia. Once the project was complete, Sunny donated the kits to the Duke Hospital to give to patients. 

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