Teen Fighting Cancer 'Overwhelmed' By Support
Sarah Stover and her family 'overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of love' as they receive more than 1,350 origami angels.
The folks at the Morris County Arts Workshop (MCAW) were not ones to sit idly by when they heard that Sarah Stover, 14-year-old freshman at West Morris Mendham High School, was battling follicular lymphoma.
As a group dedicated to the power of art in the community, MCAW executive director Jane Shatz decided to use the legend of the origami cranes on Stover's behalf.
In Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. The original origami public art piece at the Chester Springs Mall titled "Thousand Flights" was made using 1,000 origami cranes folded by Cathy Ring to aid those suffering in Japan as a result of the 2011 tsunami disaster.
The decision was made to amend the concept from cranes to angels.
"When Sarah Stover became ill in August 2012, I thought of this amazing Japanese tradition of 1,000 cranes, but instead replacing the cranes with angels because of the faith and comfort Sarah derives from them," MCAW Program Director Christine Pennisi, said.
The community took their task seriously.
Last week at the Hive, the new MCAW storefront in the Chester Springs Mall, Shatz, Ring and Pennisi were able to give Stover over 1,350 origami angles. Overwhelmed by the sentiment, the Stover family wrote a personal thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. Their message is below.
Dear Sarah’s Angels,
What a beautiful ‘healing wish’ you have all granted our Sarah Stover with the creation of over 1350 origami angels! Last week at the HIVE, Christine Pennisi, Jane Shatz and Cathy Ring of the Morris County Arts Workshop (MCAW) presented Sarah with a dazzling array of angels, each one unique and special like each of you, carrying a message of love.
The ancient Japanese legend of the 1000 cranes promises a powerful healing wish with the folding of these origami birds. As Sarah had drawn a sky full of radiant angels on her hospital blanket as she waited to go into surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in early September (the mural was titled “Sarah’s Angels”), MCAW thought it fitting to substitute the cranes for origami angels. And so within a matter of weeks, you all created your own sea of angels as you gathered together at schools, churches, Girl Scout meetings, and homes within Chester and beyond! We are overwhelmed and humbled with the outpouring of love.
How blessed are we to live in such an incredibly caring community that continues to support one another during the most challenging times? I truly believe that each of us is a gift to others. We are so intertwined that even the smallest acts of kindness have far greater meaning and impact than we can ever imagine. The unity of love and support that you continue to show Sarah as she battles this very rare cancer is remarkable! Sarah is making good progress with her chemotherapy treatments these past several months and is being tutored at home this freshman year. She has a wonderful spirit and sense of humor. But it is your healing energies that have truly carried all of us.
So we thank you for the beautiful wish. It is said in the ancient legend that people would say, “cover my child with your wings”. Thus in folding each one of these precious angels, you have enveloped us in the warmth of your love, support and hope. You have lifted up a special healing prayer high into the Heavens on the wings of your 1000 beautiful angels. Only goodness can come of it. I know in my heart that your wish for Sarah’s renewed health will come true! And for that, we thank you.
May you each be abundantly blessed!
Berit, Gregg, Sarah and Austin Stover
Meadowbrook Road, Chester