Latest update: December 2017
These are Vega’s beads of courage. This was originally an American programme that was established to support children with long term and/or life threatening illnesses to feel a greater sense of ownership over their treatment. There is a British charity called Be Child Cancer Aware who brought these over to the UK and now many hospitals here are using them. The children get a sort of diary where you can tick off any treatments you receive and then at the end of the day or week you see your designated bead person – often the play therapist in children’s ward, to collect your beads. These beads were tremendously helpful for us, understanding what treatments would happen during the day, marking achievements and milestones but also hard times. These are Vega’s beads now, a little over 2000 if I remember correctly.
There are many achievements beads too, when children are particularly brave or have overcome a great difficulty. Most treasures of all is the Purple Heart – the end of treatment bead. Vega still gets a bead now for every follow up.
They are really great and Vega is very proud of them!