The Bravery Bead Program allows children who wish to participate the chance to collect a different bead for each procedure or event while visiting the hospital for treatment. The goal of the program is to make a necklace with colourful beads that represents the unique and special journey of a particular child and to make something that they are proud of and want to share with family and friends. Beads are not given as a reward or something to be earned but rather to represent each child’s individual story through treatment.
The partnership between the Women’s Auxiliary volunteers and the Child Life Specialists is a critical element in the success of the program at SickKids. Volunteers check and shop for supplies, cut and dip the rattail, fill the bead boxes in different areas, and keep the refill boxes stocked for easy access. They along with the Child Life Specialists help patients and parents build necklaces as needed.
Before the program is expanded, a bead legend is designed with new beads to represent the procedures unique to the new area. Some of the beads are exclusive to each areas. For example, “ECMO” and “Pacemaker” are unique to Cardiac; “Beanstalk program” is a bead unique to Transplant. And some beads are general ones – a “holiday” bead for those children who spend a significant holiday in the hospital; a “birthday” bead for someone who has a birthday while in the hospital. Each area has a “bead legend” to describe the beads in that area.
WOW beads are special beads given after a particularly difficult procedure or on a particularly difficult day or perhaps just a first time for accomplishing something as simple as getting out of bed. Each child selects his/her own WOW bead from the drawer.
The Women’s Auxiliary at The Hospital for Sick Children is very proud to support this program for our very BRAVE children at SickKids.