Cranes of Hope a legacy of Rod Osiowy

Submitted by EKFH on 30-08-2010

Cranbrook, BC  “It is with great honour that East Kootenay Foundation for Health can announce a stand alone fundraiser under our annual Starlite Campaign entitled the “Cranes of Hope a legacy of Rod Osiowy“. 

Over the past few months I have been working with Rod, Colleen, Jasmine, Jordan and Dana Osiowy to bring a beautiful story to our hospital.  Our dream was to start this amazing gift program in early September with Rod standing beside us, regrettably, as we all now know… Rod Osiowy, passionate theatre arts teacher, Cranbrook’s 2009 Citizen of the Year and inspiring cancer fighter recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.  The Cranes of Hope is now even more meaningful as it becomes a legacy of Rod and his vision of helping others with cancer and bringing hope and inspiration to their families,” explains Donna Grainger, Executive Director.  

About the Crane:
The story of 1,000 Cranes began in Hiroshima, Japan, where in 1945; the atom bomb levelled the city.  A generation later, the radiation from this blast was found to be causing cancer.

The play 1,000 Cranes is about this atom bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, and how it affected a young Japanese girl named Sadako.  She was two years old when the bomb fell, and she developed leukaemia years later despite being active and healthy.  It is legend that after making 1,000 origami cranes, a wish will be granted.  Thus, Sadako folded cranes while she was ill – with the wish to live and be healthy once again.  She died at the age of 16, but her classmates continued to fold cranes as a prayer for peace.

Today, paper cranes are released annually into Hiroshima Bay as a symbol of hope that cancer can be cured and that a bomb will never happen again. 

Fifteen years ago in Cranbrook, Kyla Surtees, while in Grade 12 at Mount Baker Secondary School in Rod Osiowy’s theatre program, directed a dramatic stage version of 1,000 Cranes with a double cast.  The production moved audiences in Cranbrook and was also performed for a major drama festival.  This was a huge accomplishment for a student director.  Today, Kyla is working with people in developing countries, using drama as a medium. 

Upon hearing of Rod’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2009, Kyla contacted her cast from high school, now living in places ranging from Abu Dhabi to England and Australia – and asked them to make paper cranes and send them to her.  Kyla and her mother, Beth, strung the cranes together and Kyla presented the inspirational gift to Rod at his home.  Rod and his family were overwhelmed by the support embodied in the origami cranes.  The beautiful cranes, have provided Rod with hope during his fight with cancer, and very soon will be on display in the lobby of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital to share the hope and inspiration represented by the cranes. 

The Osiowy family implemented this idea of symbolically selling individual cranes for $100 each until all 1,000 are sold as fundraiser in honour of Rod.  Through your purchase of a crane, you will be contributing to the quality of health care that we have here in the East Kootenay, and providing hope to patients and their families. 

East Kootenay Foundation for Health wishes to recognize its first symbolic donation to the Cranes of Hope a legacy of Rod Osiowy from his dearest friends Cam, Sandy, Emma, Wynter & Madison Trueman (formerly of Cranbrook) of Manotick, Ontario.  

Funds derived from the Cranes of Hope will be held in trust by East Kootenay Foundation for Health to enhance oncology services at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

Donations can be made at the EKFH office at 13 24th Ave N, Cranbrook, BC V1C 3H9, via Canada Post or on-line through our secured website – go to Donate Now, select Cranes of Hope a legacy of Rod Osiowy.

EKFH wishes to express our deepest condolences to the Osiowy family and thank them for the trust they have placed and bestowed on our organization.   Rod will truly be missed for his amazing contributions to our community and to health care at our hospital.

For more information please contact Donna Grainger at 1-877-489-6481, 250 489-6481 or email: