Beads of Courage Help Young Cancer Patients

Cancer patient with beadsA yellow bead for a week in the hospital.  A white bead for every day of chemotherapy.  Glow in the dark beads for radiation.  A child’s name spelled out in beads.  Necklaces that tell stories of cancer journeys and help sick children endure tough times.

Beads of Courage™ were originally developed by Jean Baruch, a children’s cancer nurse, at  Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  Baruch now heads the program which has expanded to a number of other children’s hospitals in the United States and internationally.

Butterfly BeadSpecial handmade beads mark important milestones including purple hearts when treatment ends.  Parents whose children die are comforted with a butterfly bead.  Artists and beadmakers throughout the country contribute beads for the project.

Baruch’s research shows that children use the beads to communicate better and deal with painful procedures more easily when they receive the beads.  Anticipation of a black bead for a needle stick calms frightened children and helps health staff.

Watch children receiving Beads of Courage at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.


  1. Kate Murphy says

    The Beads are not available for indiivudals, as far as we know, but hospitals can apply for programs that train staff in using the Beads of Courage and provide the beads and other materials for children.

    For more information about getting your children’s hospital involved, check the Beads of Courage website. You can also email Colon Smith

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