January 24, 2017
Sadako Sasaki (January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who was two years old when an American atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, near her home next to the Misasa Bridge. Sadako became one of the most widely known hibakusha — a Japanese term meaning "bomb-affected person". She is remembered through the story of the one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death, and is to this day a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare.

Sadako was at home when the explosion occurred, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from ground zero. She was blown out of the window and her mother ran out to find her, suspecting she may be dead, but instead finding her two-year-old daughter alive with no apparent injuries. While they were fleeing, Sadako and her mother were caught in the black rain. Her grandmother rushed back to the house and was never to be seen again. Subsequently, Sadako grew up like any other girl, becoming an important member of her class relay team.

In November 1954, Sadako developed swellings on her neck and behind her ears. In January 1955, purpura had formed on her legs. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with acute malignant lymph gland leukemia (her mother referred to it as "an atom bomb disease"). She was hospitalized on February 20, 1955, and given, at the most, a year to live.

She was admitted as a patient to the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital for treatment and blood transfusions on February 21, 1955. By the time she was admitted, her white blood cell count was six times higher compared with the levels of an average child.

In August 1955, after two days of treatment, she was moved into a room with a roommate, a junior high school student who was two years older than her. It was this roommate who told Sadako about the Japanese legend which promises that anyone who folds one thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish, and taught her how to fold the origami cranes. She achieved her dream and died on October 25, 1955, at age 12.

Source: Wikipedia


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