MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Children’s Hospital patients battling cancer and blood disorders can now commemorate milestones in their treatment with colorful beads as a part of the Beads of Courage program.

Founded in 2005, the Beads of Courage program allows children an opportunity to honor the challenging journey they face during treatment. Through the collection of Beads of Courage, they not only symbolize the courage they display but also honor milestones along their path of treatment.

For example, white beads represent chemotherapy treatments. A glow-in-the-dark bead is given for radiation treatments. Surgeries are represented with star beads. Those who complete cancer treatment receive a purple heart bead.

The Beads of Courage journey begins when patients receive a string of beads that spell out their first name, nickname or last name. Colorful Beads of Courage, each representing a different treatment milestone, are available to add to their string through their treatment. The beads are provided by a member of the patient’s healthcare team.

“Battling cancer is a harrowing experience for anyone who has to go through it. For children, it is exponentially difficult because of the stress and pain it not only causes them but their families as well,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said. “This program provides children an outlet to tell their cancer stories.”

For more information on Beads of Courage see

For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital see

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 09-13-10