Christy Puetz, representing Beads of Courage was today’s speaker.
Beads of Courage is now a Tucson based non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and teens coping with serious illness, their families, and the clinicians who care for them through various Arts-in-Medicine Programs. Started in 2003 at Phoenix Children’s Hospital as a pilot program, it is now in over 240 hospitals worldwide with more than 75,000 children under treatment. The program is carried out by trained nurses, social workers and doctors.
The Beads of Courage Program helps children record, tell and own their stories of courage through the use of colorful beads that honor their courage and acknowledge each step of their treatment journey. Just like medals, ribbons and certificates, many ancient and modern-day cultures use beads to show bravery and accomplishments. In many societies, beads are believed to carry protective and healing powers. Beads are given to children to acknowledge courage displayed during treatment or when a defining milestone is reached. Each type of treatment a child undergoes is designated by a special color or shaped bead. Some of the various beads represent tube placement, test/scan, chemotherapy/immunization, line placement, hair loss, dressing changes, transfer to PICU, radiation, and infusions to mention just a few. An average cancer treatment cycle involves a children receiving over 500 different beads. Parents of children that have passed away receive a special glass butterfly bead in memory of their child. None of the beads are commercially available to the general public. Many of the beads are manufactured in large quantities while others are handmade by a variety of artisans. Beads of Courage is a member of International Society of Glass Beadmakers.
At the end of Christy’s presentation, Carole Bakken presented her with a grants check for $1,000.