Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays

Browse our previous Cancer Unwrapped writing contest winners

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Hope Soars with 1000 Paper Crane Project

Hope Soars with 1000 Paper Crane Project

1000 paper cranes. "What does that mean to you?" Words, images, and objects can hold different meanings and show different ideas to individual people. My 1000 folded Japanese origami paper cranes demonstrate all of my hopes, support and respect for my mother who was...

Hope Soars with 1000 Paper Crane Project

Waking from A Dream

Four months of empty memories have risen from the depths of my soul after all these years. As if I’m in a dream, I see this fuzzy-headed little girl skipping circles around me as she laughs and recalls story after story of being “sick.” I suddenly realized she was me,...

Too Young

Too Young

Too young to remember it all. Too young to hear those life-changing words. Too young to grow up so fast. Too young to need to make everyone happy despite the pain. Too young to watch the Dad I knew and loved have to go through this torture, Stage 4 Glioblastoma...

Starring: Cancer

Starring: Cancer

Before her diagnosis, my big sister, Emma, had to be the most popular girl in school. She was the girl who could do it all. She was a four-year varsity athlete in softball, Captain of the Cheer team, National Honor Society member, tennis athlete, homecoming princess...

Peter Crawford, a Father Figure

Peter Crawford, a Father Figure

“My father passed away from cancer when I was nine.” I know their next words after this statement: I am so sorry. Why? Because the thought of a nine-year-old boy crying himself to sleep for months makes you feel sympathy. Or that you know me now and I just blindsided...

Hope Soars with 1000 Paper Crane Project

Even Gloomy Hospital Rooms Get Sunlight

A thin shard of sunlight sliced through the pale blue curtains in the cold hospital room, burning against my throat. “Baba” was all I managed to say. I could not tell if he was asleep or awake. His eyes were dazed and unfocused as if he could not see the room in front...

Cancer Still Wrapped

Cancer Still Wrapped

I sat down beside my eldest brother in the living room, my middle brother would not be home from college for another week. The Christmas tree was lit up vibrantly and the faint crackle of the fireplace was in the background. Then I saw my mom’s face, and I knew that...

It Isn’t a Battle That Can Be Lost

It Isn’t a Battle That Can Be Lost

I have a grievance with the way society treats cancer. I have a grievance with the way cancer treats society. I have many grievances, but I have more hope than grievances. I do not remember the day – rather, days – my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, nor do I...

Can a Hospital be a Playground?

Can a Hospital be a Playground?

Obviously, a hospital is not the first place that comes up when you think of a playground, but for me, Seattle Children's Hospital was my playground. I was only four years old when my baby brother was diagnosed with leukemia, and as a little kid, I didn't really...