I'm in Tennessee again, and I'm loving all of the amazing members I'm meeting here! I just stopped by Monroe Carol Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and I met another incredible Beads of Courage member, Dawn. She is so special! She was born a few weeks prior to her due date, on April Fool's Day actually, which meant she stayed in the NICU for 23 days. Dawn went through her first open heart surgery at only 2 months old! Her second surgery happened not long after the first, and theyher tricuspid valve, but as Dawn and her mother call it, “a little origami magic."
Dawn was born with Down Syndrome and a combination of Congenital Heart Defects. She has also had two surgeries on her tonsils, adenoids, voice box, nasal passages and ears to help with severe obstructive sleep apnea. Despite everything Dawn has gone through, her beads have been with her every step of the way. Her beads continue to show how much she has endured and all of her strength! Her mom told me that “We hope that when she gets older and life is hard that she will be able to use her beads to give her the encouragement she needs to strive to be her best!”
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.