BENEFITING: BEADS OF COURAGE
EVENT DATE: Jan 11, 2013
Mileage Tracker: 70
Beads of Courage was founded in 2004 as a way to help kids with cancer and other serious illnesses to cope with Art in Medicine.
Children who participate in the program receive colored beads that represent milestones, procedures, and acts of bravery. For instance, they get a yellow bead for an overnight hospital stay, a white one for chemotherapy, and a glow-in-the-dark bead for radiation treatment. It's not uncommon for children to amass 10, 20 -- even 35 -- feet of beads. It helps young patients track and celebrate their progress, but it also gives them a way to get through upcoming procedures, says Gwendolyn Possinger, the coordinator of Children's Memorial Hospital's Beads of Courage program in Chicago. "A child facing another needle can look at his beads and realize that he made it through before so he can do it again," she says.
Today the nonprofit organization supports more than 10,000 children in 60 hospitals in the United States, Japan, New Zealand, and Ireland and is funded exclusively by private donations. With the help of participating hospitals, Beads of Courage is also constantly evolving. Founder Jean Baruch and her team have expanded the program to include many conditions and diseases. They also focus on other ways the arts can help families dealing with a serious illness.
The program has been invaluable to our family and Taggert during his continuing journey with heart, airway and complications from other issues. Taggert wears his beads with pride and despite only having 1/3 of what he has actually earned, his strand is already 3 times his height!
We hope you will visit the beads of courage site, watch the Sunday Morning Video (Taggert's photos is featured at the half way paoint about 3minutes in) and consider donating to help continue this program.