Guest Blog Post – Beads of Courage Member Alexis Douglas
I started my journey with Beads of Courage at three years old, although my time at the hospital was way before that. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at two months old. I had a 10% chance of survival. In order to save me, they had to take out my kidney and give me very hardcore chemotherapy and radiation. That has affected a lot of my life after cancer.
As I reflect on my time as a cancer survivor, and my time with Beads of Courage, I flash back to all the memories of wearing them. Even after treatment, I still wear them to so many events and I am so proud to be wearing them. I always felt guilty for not remembering my cancer treatment. Why should people be calling me a miracle if I do not remember fighting? But, as I looked at the beads, time and time again, I felt like a warrior. I still deal with the side effects and scars, and my Beads of Courage help me realize that I am still a fighter and I deserve the title of cancer survivor.
Each bead tells a story. That is why they mean so much to me. Each bead has a different meaning and a different level of importance. Whether it is a simple blood draw or kidney surgery, Beads of Courage covers all of it. Each one means so much to me because of which doctor gave it to me, what situation I was in, and how I earned it.
As I see other survivors wear their beads, I feel a connection to them. Beads of Courage helps me understand what they had to go through and fight against to be here today. It helps me feel bonded to them and respect their strength. Beads of Courage has made such a positive impact in my life, and I am so grateful to have my beads as a reminder of all I fought against.
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Note from BOC: As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of donors who believe in the power of beads to provide hope and healing for children and teens like Alexis. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of courageous kids coping with cancer and other serious illnesses!
- Make a one-time donation: Friends of Beads of Courage
- Make a recurring monthly donation: Courage Keepers