Children with Cancer UK is delighted to support the Beads of Courage Oncology Programme in the UK

The Beads of Courage UK programme offers support and strength to families when they need it most.

In 2019, 9 million beads were delivered to roughly 9,000 children in over 100 hospitals across the country. Our grant has also enabled training sessions to hospital staff on how to support individual patients throughout the programme both practically and emotionally. Beads of Courage UK staff travelled over 10,000 miles to deliver training in 2019.

Our partnership with Beads of Courage UK

Beads of Courage UK logo Our partnership with Beads of Courage UK will ensure that the Beads of Courage will be available to all young cancer patients being treated in 110 childhood cancer wards across the UK. Over 4,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. The first bead that young cancer patients receive will also be branded as the Children with Cancer UK bead to show our support for these brave children. This is part of our commitment to providing hope and happiness to children and young people with cancer.

Thank you for supporting children through their treatment

Thanks your generous support we’ve been able to commit £1.2 million since 2018 for the Beads of Courage UK oncology programme to support children, like Ted, who go through difficult treatment journeys. Thank you for your support.    

Beating Cancer: the Beads of Courage and Ted's Story

Ted was diagnosed with infantile acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just 6 months old. Now in remission, Ted and his father share their experience of the road to recovery and how Beads of Courage UK helped to articulate Ted’s journey and story. Watch their story.

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What are Beads of Courage?

header image and to go next to main copy At every stage of cancer treatment, children receive a new Bead of Courage. The beads join together to form (often long) physical representations of their recovery, keeping a record of every hospital trip and treatment on their courageous journey. The Beads of Courage help to decrease illness-related distress and increase positive coping strategies to support children and their families. The Beads of Courage programme helped Lois (pictured) through her treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia. The endless treatments and procedures led to her experiencing severe anxiety, but the beads has a positive impact on her mental health. There is an extensive Beads of Courage list that explains what each bead type symbolises. A few examples of these beads include:
  • Yellow bead: an overnight stay in hospital
  • White bead: a course of chemotherapy
  • Blue bead: visits to the clinic
  • Glow-in-the-dark bead: a course of radiation treatment
  • Glass bead: an act of courage
  • Special star bead: a special accomplishment
  • Purple heart bead: completion of treatment!

Laraib explains her Beads of Courage

Laraib has a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – ABl2 – and has collected more than 2,000 beads during her treatment. Each bead has a specific purpose and represents a different aspect of her recovery. Watch as Laraib explains her Beads of Courage.

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