June 27, 2016
The Beads of Courage programme is designed to provide an additional treatment and offers support for children and teenagers undergoing serious illness and treatments. The initial reaction to the Beads is “aren’t they pretty” but it is not until you see it in action and talk to children and care givers that you can see the impact that they have.
This programme supports over 20,000 children in the US, UK, Japan and New Zealand and has been evaluated over the past 8 years. Major benefits of the programme are that it helps to decrease illness-related distress, increases the use of positive coping strategies, helps children find meaning in illness and restores a sense of self in children coping with serious illness.
The Beads of Courage 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.
The beads help the children to take ownership of their journey and to make sense of the experience they are going through in a very visible and tangible way. The beads gives them a tool to explain it to themselves and others, adults, medical professionals, brothers, sisters, friends and says to everybody “this is my story, this is what I’m doing – its not nice but I’m strong and I will get through it”.
Cambridge Medtech Solutions recently supported the “Dancing with Butterflies” performance by the Lisa Rusay Dance School, at the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge. It raised money for the Beads of Courage Programme at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.