Football players from the University of Tennessee visited Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to present “Beads of Courage” to pediatric oncology patients. The Vols wore Beads of Courage on their shoestrings during the Tennessee-Georgia game and presented those beads to the pediatric cancer patients this week. More than 30,000 children coping with serious illness participate in the Beads of Courage Program that gifts children with colorful beads, which symbolize the many treatments and procedures pediatric patients endure as they cope with serious illnesses.
Members of the team who visited Children’s Hospital made bracelets from the beads with pediatric oncology patients and their families. The beads worn by the Vols during the Tennessee-Georgia game are known as “Act of Courage Beads.” These are special handmade beads given to honor and acknowledge milestones in a child’s treatment journey. Each time a child experiences an Act of Courage during treatment, the patient can select a special Courage Bead worn by a UT athlete, known as a TEAM Bead. Enduring a difficult treatment, such as lying still without sedation during a scan, may represent a child’s Act of Courage.
Beads of Courage, Inc., a children’s charity that provides Arts-in-Medicine Programs for children coping with serious illness, has been implemented in over 150 children’s hospitals in six countries, including Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.