To the right I have included a link to Beads of Courage. Jack received his first beads after birth while he was in the ICU awaiting surgery. Beads of Courage is a program designed to support children with serious illness. Each time a child undergoes a procedure, surgery, accomplishment or set-back they receive a bead.
Sophie, Monroe and Emery are also a part of the program. Through the Sibling Program the girls received their first sets of beads and we strung the bead necklaces while at the hotel in Dallas. The program recognizes the sacrifices siblings make while their loved one is undergoing treatment. The girls have beads like the turtle bead (which represents nurturing and protection), the horse bead (representing a loyal and devoted friend), beads for separation from parents, a red bead (for love or even for anger) and many more.
So far Jack has 36 beads. Some of the meanings of his beads: having his central line placed, one for his IV nutrition when he could not eat (TPN), four red beads for his transfusions, five blue beads for his chest tubes, catheters and NG tube, a pink bead for being on the ventilator and a heart bead to represent his first open-heart surgery! Each time Jack has a test, an x-ray or any procedure he will be given a bead to represent that moment.
I had never heard of this program prior to our experience with Jack. I can tell you firsthand that this method of therapy makes a huge difference in the lives of children and their siblings. The girls were thrilled after their time away from us that we had a special project to do together in the hotel room. We took some time to explain what Beads of Courage are and what some of their beads mean. We showed them Jacks beads and explained why some of his were different and that some of them were the same. While the kids may not understand all of this right now they will have a way to explain and remember this time in our lives with a tangible, special piece of jewelry.
There have been many articles and news stories about Beads of Courage. The segment below focuses on the affect of Beads of Courage for children who endure Cancer. No matter the disease Beads of Courage is a wonderful therapy resource. I think you will find the story encouraging! Beads of Courage has greatly impacted our lives and you can see why…