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Beads of Courage Help Children Through Cancer

Beads of Courage Help Children Through Cancer

Michelle Massey, our clinical social worker, offers the Beads of Courage program at the Center to all our child patients. Michelle uses the beads as part of a comprehensive healing arts and clinical social work program that empowers children, reduces anxiety, and decreases the risk of depression.  Our goal at the Center is to provide a healing environment for every patient and this is just one ways that arts in medicine is used.

The Beads of Courage program is a tool to emotionally support and provide cognitive behavioral therapy to children with cancer.  It helps kids record, tell, and own their journey of courage. The collection of beads correlates with appointments, procedures, and medical team meetings and it comes with a journal to track these.

Each bead is a different color, shape, or size.  For example, a radiation bead is a colorful bead with glow-in-the-dark specks.  A surgery bead is a pretty star.  A chemo bead is white, a clinic visit is blue, and so on.

The Beads of Courage program is an important tool because each bead tracks a child’s daily treatment journey and reminds kids of what they have accomplished, how brave they are. It’s something they can use to remember and re-tell their unique story of courage. 

“Their story isn’t just about what’s happening to them, it’s about how they are taking control of their tough situation,” says Michelle. “Beads of Courage is VERY empowering.   It allows them to say – ‘yeah, this is hard, but I did it!’”