Last week, as part of a global initiative to bring hope to children fighting the battle against cancer, Tina Allen of the Liddle Kidz Foundation presented 2,000 folded origami paper cranes from Japanese children fighting cancer to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC)’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Team and their patients.
In Japan, cranes symbolize hope, love, honor and peace. Tradition also says that if someone receives 1,000 cranes, they will be granted their wish, or eternal luck.
In return, staff from the Center for Integrative Medicine’s Inpatient Integrative Care Team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine created “links of love” with 4,000 hand-decorated paper strips to send back to Japan, with the intention of sending love and support around the world in conjunction with National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is September.
Dr. Teresa York, Division Head of the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Unit, and 15-year-old patient Madison Friz – whose cancer is now in remission – accepted thecranes from Allen on behalf of UMMC patients and their families.
“I am very honored and humbled by this gift of hope as we continue the fight against pediatric cancer,” said York, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“This gift means hope,” added Friz. “When you have cancer, that’s all you have. You don’t know what’s going to happen the next day, so you have to believe everything is going to turn out fine.”