Madeline is a participant is the Beads of Courage program. She started as a Sibling in 2009 when her sister was diagnosed and she received her own Sibling Beads of Courage as Elizabeth battled Leukemia.
In November 2016, Madeline began her own strand of Beads of Courage. The strand begins with alphabet letters of the child’s first name. Then with each procedure, poke, test, treatment, or bump in the road the child receives though their illness, they receive a bead. As of late September 2017, Madeline had beads that filled 34 feet of cording, and weighed over 4.1 pounds. She had beads for several acts of courage, many bumps in the road, hair loss beads, many surgery stars, a few ICU hearts, and lots of black pokes. These beads are a beautiful reminder of a difficult journey. Together they are beautiful. When held, they are heavy. They are a reminder of the burden these children carry behind the smiles on their faces. These are trophies. These are medals. These are badges of honor. These are symbols of hope. These are reminders that they have been through a journey. These are reminders that their journey was real, it really happened, yet they are still smiling, or fighting, or that their fight is simply not forgotten.
When Elizabeth passed away, I carried her beads to her funeral. These were important. I didn’t explain them, but I clutched them. I carried the weight of those beads. I ran them through my fingers through the entire service, honoring her fight. They now proudly sit, showcased, in our living room, just as a war hero’s flag would be encased, as do Madeline’s.
Beads of Courage are more than just pretty beads strung on a string to give to the kids to entertain them during their hospital stay. These are their badges of courage, of honor.
Below you will find links to a few pages on the Beads of Courage Page. Each is a way you can help us if you would like to get involved. Currently the hospital gives children their precious beads in sandwich bags or biohazard hospital bags. Most will store their beads in these bags or Ziploc bags. Many will lose interest in the program because beads get lost. Maddie wanted to do her Girl Scout Silver project (before she got sick) to make and collect Bead bags for the hospital so the kids didn’t have to give them out in sandwich bags again. You can help us out if you like to sew!
Are you a wood worker? Would you like to honor the bereaved families with a beautiful way to store their child’s beads? Or would you like to make sure a fighter gets a special bowl for reaching a milestone like remission or end of treatment? Check out the section on the requirements for Wood Working bowls. No one has ever done anything like this for our facility in the 8 years since we have been there, and we would love to be able to start sending wonderful gifts in honor of ANY of our 70 plus families from South Georgia that go to Jacksonville for treatment!
Finally, would you love to be a care partner in the Beads of Courage program? You can order bead kits and wear a bead for yourself and give one to your buddy who is fighting when you visit, or send it in the mail to show them support!
We are not affiliated with the Beads of Courage program in any way other than we TRULY love what they do and what their program has done for our kiddos. The pictures you see are of our own kids with their beads. We would love to add pictures of our families with their beads too!