Beads of Courage is an international program created in response to the need for more supportive care programs for children with serious illnesses. Beads of Courage embraces the different meanings beads have in various cultures while giving patients the opportunity to assign their own meanings to beads.
When a child starts the program, they’re given a string with their name on it and a few starter beads to begin their story. As time goes on, they receive different beads to mark milestones in their treatment, including:
- Stem cell transplant
- Special accomplishments and acts of courage
At the end of their treatment, all participants receive a purple heart to mark the end of their difficult journey. Like the soldiers returning from the front, our patients have been wounded, but they are also survivors.
The beads serve as a meaningful way to preserve memories of a child’s treatment, and they also help give relatives or friends a different perspective of the child’s experience.