Laurie Dressman, RN, BA, ONN-CG is a Breast Care Nurse Navigator at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. She works with breast cancer patients every day and witnesses the grace, hope and inspiration that are part of their journey. Earlier this year Dressman, along with cancer center staff, decided to create an art piece to hang in the lobby. The project began with staff members folding 1,000 paper cranes—the Japanese custom signifying longevity, well being and hope for an individual.

“We have been working to develop opportunities for our cancer patients to express themselves through art,” says Stephanie Graff, M.D., medical oncologist at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center. “Laurie’s beautiful creation that will be modeled by Kelly, whose story of hope and power over cancer is inspirational, is a perfect combination. It tells patients it’s okay to express yourself in any way. It tells patients it’s okay to stand strong and to have hope. And with BraCouture’s mission, this symbol of hope will make a tangible difference in the life of patients impacted by breast cancer.”

“As a previvor and oncology nurse at Sarah Cannon Institute at Research Medical Center for the past nine years, I have had the good fortune of working with people involved in their own cancer journey,” Boling says. “It will be my honor to wear such a personal work of art and expression.”

The paper crane bra will be auctioned off in a $6,000 package that Research Medical Center employees donated, which includes seven days at a South Carolina vacation cottage, an Indian cuisine dinner hosted by a Research Medical Center oncology physician and two Nutcracker Ballet tickets donated by another Research Medical Center Nurse Navigator.

“The passion that went into this beautiful art bra is remarkable,” says Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum. “It represents not only the commitment and dedication by our cancer professionals to raise awareness and help cancer patients, but also the selfless motivation our patients have to help others on the breast cancer journey. The sentiment that is the foundation of the ‘1,000 Cranes: A Symbol of Hope’ is extraordinary.”

Dressman also applied for a grant from BraCouture, a nonprofit organization, to help support the Research Foundation Cancer Center fund to help cancer patients in the Kansas City area. The announcement of grant awards will occur after Friday’s event.

For more information about Sarah Cannon Institute at Research Medical Center and the services it offers, including diagnosis, high-risk care and innovative and leading-edge treatment and after-care, visit