Saturday, October 08, 2011

Yom Kippur Cranes

I have been reading “The Emperor of All Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukhergee, a book chronicling the history of cancer.  The early attempts at a cure for various forms of cancer were truly barbaric, as were the first attempts at chemotherapy.  I found myself feeling glad cancer research had progressed as far as it has.
Then I went to services today and learned about the 28-year-old daughter of one of our congregants who has a rare form of ovarian cancer.  There have been only 400 documented cases EVER of this type of cancer.  It strikes young women, as young as 14 months old.  It is extremely aggressive.  There is only one survivor of the 400 people who have had it.  I suddenly realized just how far we still have to go in coming up with a cure for the many variants of this awful disease.
Going back 20 years, this girl was in my daughter’s 2/3 class.  The mother of one of their classmates was diagnosed with an extremely virulent form of breast cancer.  The girl came up with the idea of making 1,000 origami cranes for the woman, who is today a survivor.
The woman, upon hearing about the girl’s recent diagnosis, bestowed upon her the 1,000 cranes.  We at Temple Micah are working on a second thousand so that she can have cranes flying all over her parents’ house.  In between afternoon prayers today I made about 10, finally mastering the many folds.
I can’t even imagine a parent’s pain at learning such news about a child.  Neither can I imagine the fear each family member has as the days tick away.  We always said the 1,000 cranes helped the woman survive her battle with breast cancer.  Maybe 2,000 cranes will help the girl beat what look to be very slim odds.


Blogger Steve Reed said...

Wow, what a story. It's amazing that the girl who came up with the idea for the cranes should face her own cancer battle years later. Horrifying!

Cancer is so strange. I'm not even sure it's really correct to call it a disease -- it's more a mutation that runs amok, you know?

12:44 PM  

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