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Spotlight On - Beads Of Courage

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Beads of Courage®
10 Years of Celebrating Courage of Children Coping with Serious Illness
by Jean M. Baruch, PhD, RN, Executive Director, Beads of Courage, Inc.



About. Beads of Courage, Inc. (a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization) has worked diligently to transform the treatment experience for children coping with cancer and other serious illness through our arts-in-medicine programs. In February 2013, we will celebrate our 10 years of supporting children coping with cancer and other serious illness through the Beads of Courage Program since the Program was first piloted at Phoenix Children's Hospital in 2003. Through the Beads of Courage Program children are given a visible way to document their treatment journey as they receive colorful beads of courage each which symbolize treatments overcome as dictated by the official Beads of Courage® bead guide. For example, for every blood transfusion a red bead, for every chemotherapy a white bead, and for every poke by a needle a black bead. There are over 20 different treatments and procedures that Beads of Courage® are given for. In addition, in collaboration with the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, Beads of Courage® distributes handmade, lampwork beads that are donated and individually packaged by volunteers so that children can receive one-of-a-kind beads for treatment milestones. 


Advancing the Science of Caring. On the surface, the Beads of Courage® Program may seem like a fun "craft", however, it is a program driven by theories and research which provide supporting evidence that the gifting of beads by clinicians during treatment can alleviate the experience of suffering, strengthen resilience, and improve the quality of life for participating children. The Program provides a powerful dose of narrative medicine that restores sense of self, and helps children and teens connect with others through their beads. Health care providers who are involved in the Beads of Courage® Program receive training by program staff so that these outcomes are achieved for every child and family who receives the program, while advancing the science of caring.


Additional Program Support. The Beads of Courage Program is now implemented in more than 130 children's hospitals in 6 countries. It is estimated that over 30,000 children currently receive Beads of Courage® during treatment. Since 2005, the organization has developed additional programs to support siblings of children that have a brother or sister coping with a serious illness, a program for parents, and an innovative "Strand for Strength and Remembrance" workshop for bereaved family members. All programs are provided free-of-charge for participating children and families because of the generosity of supporting donors who cover the program expenses. 


Get Involved! The international headquarters for Beads of Courage, Inc. is located in Tucson, Arizona, however, the scope of outreach is international. The organization depends on the generosity of volunteers, donors and artists groups to pursue their mission of providing arts-in-medicine programs for children coping with serious illness. There are many ways to get involved to support the mission of Beads of Courage® and to directly support children through Beads of Courage Programs in your community. Please visit their website to learn more at www.beadsofcourage.org. If you are interested in getting involved to support the mission of Beads of Courage, Inc. please email Ashley Ethridge, Director of Communications and Development at Ashley@beadsofcourage.org.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jean Baruch, PhD RN
Founder and Executive Director
Headquarters - 520-344-7668



Blog contributor Thomas Soles is the Trade Show Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. His favorite stones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Tom Selleck's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at Thomas@SoftFlexCompany.com

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