Abram Iman: Gift of Peace & Good Will
On Dec. 17th, 2011, Abram Iman celebrated his 10th birthday by making gifts for seriously ill children. These weren’t just any gifts, but carefully crafted, heartfelt gifts that Abram says – “just made me happy.”
The shy, soft-spoken boy with spiked, short, brown hair has a knack for kindness. Since he struggles with a rare, genetic disease, Abram has been acutely aware of other children with illnesses. Abram and his brother Matthew, seven, have a disorder that has pushed them into puberty well before their teenage years. Their mom, Diane, says when Abram was seven years old, he had the bone age of a 13-year-old. Their disorder—adrenal insufficiency—leaves them missing an enzyme needed by the adrenal gland. The boys are part of a research study at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in hopes of halting the condition.
Despite his grown up features, young Abram embarked on an ambitious birthday project: folding 1,000 delicate Origami peace cranes that took more than 100 hours over three months. At first, it took Abram three or four minutes to make one bird. But after a few tries, he was crisply folding several cranes in one minute – 60-70 petite birds every Sunday after church. “When he says he’s going to do something,” says Diane, “he does it.”
Abram received Origami paper for his birthday and he says he was inspired by the children’s book, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” The fictional tale is based on the true story of a young Japanese girl, Abram’s age, who died of leukemia in 1945. Japanese folklore teaches that the crane will live 1,000 years.
The story says that to pass the time in the hospital, the girl began to fold 1,000 cranes, but only reached a little more than 600 before she passed away. Her classmates finished her goal and today, 1,000 paper cranes continue to hang in her honor at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Abram brought more than 600 of his Origami cranes to The Inn on his second visit in March, a day after he finished the project. Following the theme of the story, he donated the remaining to a hospital in Utah where he had been treated before coming to the NIH. “I am hoping that kids will think nothing is impossible, if you try,” Abram says of his gift.
Laura King, The Inn’s Director of Volunteers & Community Outreach, says Origami cranes have been donated to The Inn by area schools before, but Abram’s thoughtful dona- tion stands out. “Creating 1,000 cranes,” Laura says, “certainly is a big achievement.”
Reposted with permission from The Children’s Inn’s Summer INNspirations newsletter.