The National Crane Project was inspired by David Heard, a ten year old boy from Easton, PA who has stage IV Neuroblastoma.  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 has currently installed 2000 cranes – the second set is 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.  He is currently trying to get to 220,000 cranes, one set of 1000 for every hospital.  The Lafayette College community is helping the Heards to create mobiles from the cranes that they’ve received (an estimated 13,000 so far) at an Origami Crane Stringing Party on Dec. 11, 2010.  Lafayette is also launching a National Theatre project to encourage other colleges to perform the play and adopt a local cancer center.