Courage Tiger’s Road Trip Day 50: Ohio Makes Courage Roar

While I was in Ohio, I had the opportunity to meet with Sam, a Child Life Specialist at on of our member hospitals, Nationwide Children’s. I had the chance to talk with Sam and asked what it was like to work with Beads of Courage, and how she has seen it work with her patients.

Sam told me:

Beads of Courage is an empowering program not only for our patients, but also for their families. This program allows patients and families to have a visual, celebratory way to track the accomplishments made through a complex hospital stay. The program helps with motivation and confidence enabling patients to push through a potentially difficult situation, as well as being a wonderful testament of their life to share as they grow older.

Lincoln a patient at Nationwide Children’s
Photo credit to Nichole Lynn Photography

One family who participated in our Beads of Courage program had a very challenging and lengthy admission. The opportunity to tangibly track this difficult admission provided empowerment to the family as well as assisted them in telling their story. These beads represented the strength of the patient and family and their bravery throughout their hospital journey.
Mom to Lincoln said, “The Beads of Courage program has helped my family in a lot of ways. Our son’s heart defect has required him to have 2 heart surgeries and many hospital stays. Each bead tells a different story and when he’s older, we can look through the beads and I can tell his story to him since he’s too young to remember. It’s a great keepsake and something we will forever cherish”

Beads of Courage provides legacy building and memory making opportunities. As our patients get older, it is our hope that their beads can be a tool for socialization and to help patients transition back to school as they can use their beads to share their story with peers.

As the saying goes “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” Beads of Courage truly exemplifies this sentiment. As sometimes our families face difficult endings, these beads are a way for families to track the journey and acknowledge the great feats of strength and bravery that have been accomplished by these kids.

Lincoln a patient at Nationwide Children’s
Photo credit to Nichole Lynn Photography

Sam is a Beads of Courage Child Life Specialist that that Makes Courage RoarTo ensure that Social Workers like Noe have beads to help their patients, be sure to fund the mission and participate in the 9th Annual Bead Challenge.

Courage Tiger’s 2017 Road Trip is a feature of the 9th Annual Bead Challenge, a three-month nationwide fundraiser and beadraiser for Beads of Courage. As the official Beads of Courage mascot, Courage Tiger is visiting all 50 states to highlight the incredible work our organization does by sharing stories of our courageous members, families, clinicians, and the caring community of artists and supporters who make our vital work possible. Please get involved in Bead Challenge 2017 by visiting today. Sign up to PARTICIPATE as a fundraiser, CREATE glass beads, or DONATE to the cause. With your help, we can Make Courage Roar for kids coping with serious illness! Many thanks to Bead Challenge 2017 presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual and supporting sponsor Soda Lime Times.

– Contributed by Cristal Rogers, Marketing and Communications Intern, Beads of Courage