Check out one guy's daily journal made entirely of paper cranes.

Some people like to journal their thoughts. This artist decided he'd rather fold his.

GIF via Matthias Brown.


A year ago, Cristian Marianciuc was experiencing a feeling many of us are familiar with: 2014 was coming to a close, and he was wishing he'd done more with his time.

But 2015 was going to be different. He was going to make it count, and he was going to do it through a journal — although it wouldn't be your typical journal.

On Jan. 1, 2015, he started his own daily journal and named it the 365 Origami Crane Project.

Using paper, colors, textures, and light, he began to describe his daily thoughts — from philosophy to what was for lunch — in the form of paper cranes.

Marianciuc shared 11 of them with me, along with their official titles and his thinking behind them. They're beautiful.

1. Obscure Glimmer

All photos used with permission of Cristian Marianciuc.

"There is a silver lining in everything. And if you can't see one, then make one up."

2. Wire Me to Your Heart

"A warm breeze outside and, in the air, the feeling that this autumn is full of good things. My face is itchy; I am growing a beard again."

3. Fortress of Regrets

"Sunny morning, ready for a well-deserved break. Brushing off nagging regrets."

4. Give Me Back the Night


"I cannot even remember the last time I was able to lie down in bed, before falling asleep, and not be bombarded by thoughts and faces and 'what ifs.'"

5. Flickers


"Woke up with a severe feeling of being out of place."

6. Vivid Dreams

"Lately I have been having extremely vivid dreams, and I even manage to remember most of them once I wake up."

7. Running on Fumes

"I have been put into a not-unpleasant state of numbness from the humming of the generator ... we are out of electricity again. Things that would otherwise go unnoticed come to the forefront these days, which is good, I think."

8. Premonition

"There is something in the air, a sense of expectation, a silent preparation for something momentous."

9. Silence is Golden

"I have a long way to go in learning to keep to myself and just observe things unfold as they are meant to."

10. Cristian and the Cranes

"In the past couple of days, I had the pleasure of telling a number of people a few things about this project. It's a quiet afternoon, my room smells like Mi Goreng instant noodles and mandarine."

11. Surrender

"I woke up today to the most gloriously warm morning. But as the day progressed, clouds came in, it all became dark and menacing. All I could do was to surrender! And I love the feeling of letting go."

These are just 11 out of more than 300 amazing cranes he's created so far.

Many can be found on his Instagram. Some took 10 minutes to make, some took all afternoon. Marianciuc says, "Looking back at my cranes, I can, at a glance, remember at least a tiny detail about the day in which it was made. And that makes me emotional, but also extremely thankful."

When I asked what inspired him to make paper cranes, I wasn't expecting to be so moved by his answer.

He was inspired by the touching story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who lived in Hiroshima in 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped. She survived but was diagnosed with leukemia a decade later. In the hospital, she embarked on a quest to fold 1,000 paper cranes in order to be granted a wish, but never reached that mark.

And then it got personal with the loss of his sister.

"One of my sisters was also too eager to pick up her wings, and, at the hand of leukemia, left us some years ago," he said.

To honor his sister, Sadako Sasaki, and to push himself to be more present in 2015, he started his origami adventure.

What a cool project. And even though 2015 is approaching an end, Cristian has decided his paper cranes won't stop.

He's going for that big number: 1,000, so that he can too, be granted a wish in the end. Just like his inspiration Sadako Sasaki sought out to do so long ago.

MacKenzie Scott has given away more than $8 billion since her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos nearly two years ago. For perspective, that's more than the entire GDP of some countries. For comparison, Bill and Melinda Gates have become the world's biggest philanthropists, having given away around $50 billion over the past 27 years—at Scott's pace, she'd hit that amount in 12 years.

Scott just announced that she and the philanthropy team she has assembled have donated $2.74 billion to 286 organizations. Though the donation amounts vary, that's nearly $10 million per organization on average. (Had to do that math three times. "Billion" is a hard number to wrap our brains around.)

The money is the point, of course, but Scott wants the focus to stay on the organizations the money is funding and the work they are doing, not on the wealth that's flowing from her to them.

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MacKenzie Scott has given away more than $8 billion since her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos nearly two years ago. For perspective, that's more than the entire GDP of some countries. For comparison, Bill and Melinda Gates have become the world's biggest philanthropists, having given away around $50 billion over the past 27 years—at Scott's pace, she'd hit that amount in 12 years.

Scott just announced that she and the philanthropy team she has assembled have donated $2.74 billion to 286 organizations. Though the donation amounts vary, that's nearly $10 million per organization on average. (Had to do that math three times. "Billion" is a hard number to wrap our brains around.)

The money is the point, of course, but Scott wants the focus to stay on the organizations the money is funding and the work they are doing, not on the wealth that's flowing from her to them.

Keep Reading Show less
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Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."