An ancient Japanese legend vows that anyone who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish. Three years ago, when the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute (TCI) at Long Beach Medical Center opened its state-of-the-art Todd Cancer Pavilion, it unveiled a giant art installation made of 10,000 origami cranes.
TCI’s wish was simple – for everyone who walks through its doors to enjoy a joyful, long life or successful recovery from illness or injury.
Since then, the “Cranes of Hope” installation has done just that, providing hope and joy to all who enter the building. After several years of greeting visitors, the “Cranes of Hope” installation was in need of a makeover. In June 2016, TCI asked the community to help re-create the installation and set a goal to collect 10,000 new origami cranes.
In just a few short months, TCI has collected more than 10,000 cranes, surpassing its goal. Cranes came pouring in as employees, volunteers, patients and the greater Long Beach community answered the call of hope.
“The wave of support we received from the community in this short amount of time has been amazing,” says Cathy Kopy, executive director, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Medical Center.
“It means so much to our patients and families to see the cranes each time they visit,” says Kopy. “The installation has become a symbol for the kind of care and warmth that they have come to expect when they enter our doors. So much so, patients often request to take cranes home with them.”
In addition to the installation, cranes are displayed throughout the Pavilion in different containers allowing patients to take a memento home after a treatment or appointment.
Many individuals and several community organizations lent a hand, such as St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; Long Beach Public Library; The First Congregational Church of Long Beach, United Church of Christ; Disabled Resource Center; Long Beach Medical Center’s sister hospitals throughout the MemorialCare, including the MemorialCare Center for Mental Health & Wellness at Community Medical Center Long Beach; and more.
With all the cranes collected, plans to move forward with the new “Cranes of Hope” installation will begin in November.