Beads of Courage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization transforming the treatment process for children and teens coping with serious illness through innovative Arts-in-Medicine programs. DONATE TODAY.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 79: September's Bead of the Month!

I'm in Florida for a second day, and I met the wonderful artist who created the September Bead of the Month! Her name is Tillie and she is a “lampworking addict." Most of the inspiration for her beads and other glass work comes from the surrounding nature of her home in Florida. I actually saw some of the Everglades on my way to visit Tillie, and it was truly inspirational!

Tillie discovered Beads of Courage through her 17-year-old grandchild, who is a member of our program. Tillie told me that her connection to our program is even stronger, “having two different kinds of cancer myself, I kind of understand the children who are fighting the battle against what I call the beast.”


When Tillie created the September Bead of the Month, she thought of the nature that surrounded her. She chose to make a “flock of fat, fabulous, funny Florida frogs" because they are all so unique.

“I hope that each child, fighting a life threatening disease, will look at one of my funny little frogs and see the love in the great big smile on each froggy face, and know that nothing in this world is without warts and scars, but is lovable anyway.”

Tillie is such an amazing artist, and definitely Makes Courage Roar. Thank you Tillie for sharing your stories with me, I will treasure them forever! Keep up with Tillie's new work on her Facebook and website! You can get your own September Bead of the Month here. Check back tomorrow for another story from Florida!

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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 78: Charley's Courage in Florida!

I'm still here in Florida, and I have a special story about Beads of Courage member Charley! Charley was diagnosed with a brain cancer known as Pilocytic Astrocytoma when she was just 3 months old. As a result of surgery Charley has completely lost her vision when she was 18 months old. But this doesn’t stop her from playing with her beads every chance she gets!

Did you notice all those black beads on her strand? Each black bead represents a poke with a needle. Charley  is strictly tube fed because there were many issues with oral feeding. Charley has also been on chemotherapy for most of her life, which are all of those white beads on her Beads of Courage.

Charley definitely Makes Courage Roar! To help more children like Charley record, tell, and own their stories of courage, donate to Bead Challenge today, and contribute to your state's campaign.

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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 76: Lee's Courage Roars in Georgia!


On another adventure through Georgia today! I explored Atlanta and I met Lee! Lee is part of our Cardiac program at Children's Hospital of Atlanta at Egleston. He has been receiving beads for 3 and a half years! 

Lee was born with congenital heart defects, and a few are Tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia with ventricular septum detect, and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries.  While I was talking with his mom, she said that even though he goes through all of that, “Lee has his beads to show his courage, strength, and how much he has overcome!”

Lee’s beads show his story, and when I asked his mom what his favorite bead was, she said, 

“I would say he loves his fish bead that he got when we had to call the ambulance while in Pooler, Georgia to visit family because Lee spiked a 104.7 temperature and had a febrile seizure and had to spend 6 nights in the Savannah hospital. The fish bead means he was away from home while receiving treatment and since it was so unexpected and over 4 hours from home it surely is special.”

Thank you Lee for sharing your story with me! You Make Courage Roar, and we are honored to help you tell your story of courage. Help us support more children and teens coping with serious illness, like Lee, by participating and funding the mission of 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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 59: Josephine, Miss Massachusetts

While I am in Massachusetts I thought I would tell you about Josephine!
Josephine and her rocks for the
The Somerset, MA Kindness Rocks Project.

Josephine’s mother describes her as “a fun loving little girl who lives life to the fullest! She loves horseback riding, art, school, play dates with her friends, American Girl and making people laugh”.  Josephine has been receiving beads for her Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) / Dysautonomia & Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). When I talked with Josephine, she told me that she had over 600 beads! Josephine is so amazing! She has been representing Massachusetts for quite a while, and it has all been through her pageants. Josephine is Tiny Miss Massachusetts, and has been for a while. 
On top of being Miss Massachusetts, Josephine even has her own project! This project allows people to "promote kindness by leaving kindness rocks around town and now around the united states and world wide to brighten the lives of others and to be the positive change through random act's of kindness." To Find out more about Josephine's project be sure to check out her page! 
Josephine representing
Massachusetts
When I was meeting with Josephine and her mother, her mother told me,
“That is 653 medical things Josephine has gone through over the last almost 6 years now. We couldn't thank Beads Of Courage enough for giving Josephine hope in a time that was pretty dark and lifted her spirits with her beads showing her how strong she truly is.”

Josephine and her Beads of Courage
Josephine is a member that Makes Courage Roar! The programs, offered by Beads of Courage, rely on the generosity and support of people like you. In Massachusetts we have one member hospital Baystate Children’s Hospital, you can help fund the mission by participating in this year's Bead Challenge. That's it from Massachusetts! Check back tomorrow for another awesome story about the amazing impact of Beads of Courage.

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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 58: Beads in New Hampshire

I am here in New Hampshire! Currently there are no member hospitals, but we do have quite a few children and teens that we support through our Beads in the Mail Program.

Brenna posing with her beads
One member is Brenna, who has been receiving beads since 2011. Brenna has Shone's Complex, a set of four heart defects on the left side of her heart. Brenna’s mother told me that Brenna also has a VSD (a large hole in her heart) that was fixed with a Dacron patch. Brenna has had three open heart surgeries, the first when she was 2 months old, the second when she was 13 months old, and the most recent, last year, when she was six years old.


Brenna's Beads! Can you find the puppy bead?
When I asked Brenna what her beads meant to her she said that they are for “my strength throughout my heart surgeries." Her favorite bead is the puppy bead, because “it looks so cute!”


Brenna is definitely a member that Makes Courage Roar! Through Beads in the Mail, we help more children and teens record, tell, and own their stories of courage. This program, like so many others offered by Beads of Courage, relies on the generosity and support of people like you. You can help fund the mission by participating in this year's Bead Challenge. That's it from New Hampshire! Check back tomorrow for another awesome story about the amazing impact of Beads of Courage.

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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 53:Maureen’s Hope Foundation

I am in New York! There are eleven member hospitals here, Bernard &
Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Medical, Golisano Children's Hospital at Upstate, Komansky Center for Children's Health, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Stony Brook University Medical Center, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, and Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. I almost ran out of breath reading off all of those names!

There is so much that occurs in New York! Maureen’s Hope Foundation is an organization that offers practical support and assistance for people facing the difficult challenges of cancer and other serious illnesses. Maureen’s Hope provides gift baskets along with other services that offer strength and comfort, to help improve the quality of life. One of those other services that Maureen’s Hope provides is Beads of Courage! Not only do they help fund for the beads that our member receive, they also provide help through the Sibling and Carry a Bead Programs!


Maureen’s Hope is definitely an organization that Makes Courage Roar! If you want to find out more about what Maureen’s hope does for you, check out their website! Don’t forget to participate and contribute to the 9th Annual Bead Challenge and check in tomorrow to read about more adventures in New York!

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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Courage Tiger's Road Trip Day 52: #TravelTuesday with Alli!

Alli and her friend showing their Beads
This #TravelTuesday I met with Alli!  Through attending a Beads of Courage event in Texas that supported one of our members, Alli discovered our Carry a Bead Program!

Alli got her first Carry a Bead Kit in 2013, and has been a supporter ever since! Alli told me that for the last few years, each month she ran in charity runs around the Houston area while carrying beads! She runs with her friends and she said that “Carrying the beads gives us a reason to run, and with that we try to support other causes as well. It is the highlight of our month. We really enjoy getting our friends together and using the inspiration from Beads of Courage to support an array of other charities as well.”

When I asked Alli what her inspiration was for carrying beads, and how does carrying the beads make a difference in her runs, she said

Alli and her friends posing with their Carry a Beads
“When I was introduced to Beads of Courage and was inspired by the bravery that these kids show each and every day combating illnesses and hardships that they shouldn’t have to. So, I found my reason to run again. These kids and their strength gave me the courage to step back out there and run for reasons beyond myself. They are the inspiration, not only to run, but to run for all sorts of other causes as well. If people say that running is 90% mental and 10% physical, I can honestly say the kids in the Beads of Courage program are really the ones running these miles. The kid’s courage is contagious. They inspire us and give us the strength to get through each mile.”

Since Alli and her friends heard about the Carry a Bead program, cumulatively they have run over 300+ miles while carrying beads. As a group they have ran in over 74 5K races, 4 ten mile races, and two beads were even carries during the Houston Chevron Marathon.
Quilt made of shirts from each run that Beads were carried at.


Thank you Alli for Making Courage Roar with every bead you carry! If you want to make a difference like Alli be sure to check out our Carry a Bead Program, and participate and fund the mission for 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 www.beadchallenge.org 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.