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SLC girls fold 1,989 paper cranes for Taylor Swift’s mom

(Laurie Brady)


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — What began as an attempt to get tickets to a Taylor Swift concert turned into a project to have a wish granted that Swift’s mother could be cured of cancer.

Salt Lake City resident Laurie Brady said her oldest daughter, 11-year-old Sam Brady, recently gained an interest in origami. Sam learned how to fold paper cranes and Brady told her about the book, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” based on the Japanese legend that if someone folds 1,000 paper cranes they will be granted a wish.

Brady said Sam and her other daughter, 8-year-old Jo, both love Taylor Swift and decided to fold 1,000 paper cranes to “get a wish” and potentially get tickets to her upcoming concert.

“They’ve purchased all her albums with their own money that they’ve earned,” Brady said.

The girls decided to fold 1,989 paper cranes in honor of Swift’s world tour “1989.” They began doing the origami in January and folded for an hour almost every day, completing around 30 cranes daily.

“I believe we watched the whole Star Wars series and the whole Indiana Jones series because we had to do something while we were folding cranes,” Brady said.


They came to me one day and said, 'You know mom, we want to change our wish. We want to send these cranes to Taylor Swift's mom. We think that's what we should do. That's more important.

–Laurie Brady


A few weeks before the girls finished folding all the cranes, they heard the news that Swift’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer. As a result, they decided to change their end goal.

“They came to me one day and said, ‘You know mom, we want to change our wish,’ ” Brady said. “We want to send these cranes to Taylor Swift’s mom. We think that’s what we should do. That’s more important.”

After four months, the girls finally finished folding the 1,989 paper cranes all by themselves “without getting a single paper cut,” Brady said. They made a video of the effort in hopes of garnering attention from Swift so they could get her mother’s address to mail the cranes to.

“I really have amazing daughters,” she said. “They are awesome. For their birthdays, they choose not to have gifts. Instead, every year they pick a charity and donate to a charity … they really, truly care about their fellow human beings.”

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