International arts community come together to support Cranes for Lauren

Adelaide acting student Lauren Krelshem turns 21 today and thanks to the support of her friends, family and the international arts community, she has been treated to a virtual birthday party like no other.

After being diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2002, relapsing in 2007 and undergoing a full bone marrow transplant, Lauren is now fighting her second relapse and has put her acting degree at AC Arts in Adelaide on hold. Friends and family launched a world-wide social media campaign – #cranesforlauren – to give the budding actor a 21st gift she will never forget.

With a nod to the Japanese story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, #CranesForLauren encouraged anyone on social media to fold a paper crane and send a birthday message to Lauren. Images of lovingly folded cranes with messages of support are now flooding in from the casts of musicals across the world including the West End, Broadway, Australia and New Zealand as well as celebrities like Ruby Rose, Matt Lucas, Margot Robbie, Ricky Ponting and Noah Taylor.

Wishing you a super special 21st Birthday, Lauren, on behalf of myself, Sammy and Ruby Rose! Lots of love and best wishes, gorgeous girl! #cranesforlauren

Posted by Jen McKinnon on Sunday, September 27, 2015

Happy 21st Lauren Krelshem! Love from The Idea of North and The Manhattan Transfer #cranesforlauren

Posted by The Idea of North on Sunday, September 27, 2015

So far, over 20,000 paper cranes have flown across world to Adelaide for Lauren to celebrate with and many more are on their way via the internet! Sadako was granted one wish for 1000 paper cranes and so our Lauren has 20 wishes today and counting!

For updates and to learn more about Lauren’s story, read more here

Take a moment today to fold a crane and send a birthday message to Lauren! Team AussieTheatre will be folding cranes overnight for some belated birthday posts tomorrow.

This map shows the countries from which cranes and messages have been sent as of Monday morning, September 28. Updates to come. What an amazing effort, world!

Image thanks to Lanair Smith


** Cover image sourced from

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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