The National Crane Project was inspired by David Heard, (2000-2011), a ten year old boy from Easton, PA who had Neuroblastoma, a serious childhood cancer.  After Professor Mary Jo Lodge invited David and his family to attend the Lafayette College Theater production of A Thousand Cranes in Sept. 2010, Lodge and the cast donated the 1000 cranes folded for the production to David, who in turn donated them to the hospital where he is being treated, Lehigh Valley Hospital in Muhlenberg, PA.  David got the idea to try to install 1000 cranes in all five hospitals where he was treated, and with help from Lafayette and from East Stroudsburg University, another PA school that did the play, he was able to install two mobiles – the first at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Muhlenberg, PA and the second at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia.  After national media attention focused on the story, cranes started pouring into the Heard family from around the country, and David raised his goal to try to get a set of cranes in every pediatric cancer center in the country.