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Beads of Courage®

Calling all bead makers! Become a Beads of Courage® bead maker and help recognise the strength of children with cancer.

The Beads of Courage® programme helps children cope by decreasing their illness-related distress, increases the use of positive coping strategies, helps them to find meaning in their illness and helps to restore their sense of self through creativity. The programme also provides something tangible that a child can use to tell family and care-givers about their experience during treatment. The beads also help explain to teachers and friends what has happened to them whilst they have been away from school. Parents of younger children enrolled in the programme can use the beads in the future to explain to their child what they have been through. With each procedure or milestone in their treatment, they get a special bead.

The Beads of Courage® Programme depends upon two types of beads:

1. Program Beads. These are the vast majority of beads used in the program. These beads are commercially manufactured due largely to the sheer numbers involved. These beads are the ones that you may have seen on bead guides that correspond to specific events in treatment. We don’t ask artists to make programme beads.

2. Act of Courage Beads. These are the artist-made glass beads that are given to acknowledge the milestones in their treatment journey.

Types of Act of Courage beads include:
COURAGE BEADS: Given for acts of bravery or courage above what is accounted for within the programme beads. For example on completion of 6-8 weeks of radiation therapy and to have mastered how to lie as still as possible. For learning how to take tablets, for letting the doctors and nurses carry out procedures that they really hate! 
BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT: Every time a child has a bone marrow transplant they receive an Act of Courage Bead to mark this treatment milestone.
PARTNER IN COURAGE: These beads are given to the bone marrow donor if known to the child, this could be a parent or sibling but other times it could be another extended family member or a family friend.
PURPLE HEART: Given at completion of treatment.
BUTTERFLY BEAD:Beautiful butterfly shaped beads. Butterflies are well known symbols of peace and hope.
PARENT HEART: Heart bead presented to a parent at a particularly difficult time to just say “We know it's hard going for you as well!”
Each bead donated by our community of glass bead artists are individually packaged and presented to the child. It is given with a card that specifies the donating artist's name. So it is very personalised - each child and their parents know who has lovingly made this bead for them.

Child Cancer Foundation is in desperate need of bead artists as there are only a very small community of bead artists here in NZ.  And of the community that exists, only a few are currently donating beads on a regular basis.  Are you able to help us out by making some lamp worked beads for donation to the program – or even by donating any odd lamp worked beads that you have spare?  On a regular basis? 

If you would like to contribute beads to the Beads of Courage® program, please send them to our Courage Bead Artists Coordinator:

Shirlee Wilton
3 Totara Street 
Lansdowne Masterton
PO Box 72 Masterton
If you have any questions or want more information please don't hesitate to call Shirlee on +64 27361815127 or email her here

Thank you!